As a result of a Democratic lawmaker’s action, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has essentially been given notice as critics view him as excessively soft on crime, a trend they also attribute to an increase in violence in the city.
Fox News reported that “a Democratic New York City councilman plans to testify Monday that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has contributed to the ‘lawlessness’ on city streets in a field hearing held by the House Judiciary Committee.”
Councilman Robert Holden identified himself as a Democrat and lifelong New Yorker in an interview with Fox News Digital. He has served as the representative for the 30th district since 2018. Holden admitted to having problems with Bragg since he became DA in 2022. He claims that Bragg is to blame for the increased crime rate in New York City.
“When Bragg came in, he issued that ridiculous edict that he was not going to prosecute smaller crimes,” Holden said. “What do we have in New York City? We have lawlessness on the streets.
“I have never seen the lawlessness we are seeing now,” he added.
In 2022, Bragg took over from Cyrus Vance, Jr, another far-left DA.
On Monday at 9 a.m., the hearing will take place at the Javits Federal Building. The goal is to “examine how Bragg’s pro-crime, anti-victim policies have led to an increase in violent crime and a dangerous community for New York City residents.”
Holden cited Bragg’s “day one memo” as having “raised alarm bells throughout the city.”
The third day after Bragg took office, he issued a memorandum instructing prosecutors that they would not pursue jail time for various crimes and would reduce the charges for some crimes, such as robberies and commercial burglaries. Further, the DA announced that trespassing, resisting arrest, and fare evasion cases would no longer be prosecuted.
“Under his policy, petty theft, even resisting arrest, prostitution, public urination will not be prosecuted,” Holden said. “This is a DA saying to that to the public.
“It is just stupid,” he noted further. “It’s just dumb.”
Further, there seems to be at least some blame for rising crime rates and repeat criminal behavior with members of his own party.
“We have a bad combination in New York,” he said. “There were 17 straight years of downward crime in New York City until that 2019 bail reform law.”
NYPD officers are no longer willing to engage suspects because of those changes.
“Even if they do engage, they’re going to get district attorneys like Bragg who are going to say, ‘We’re not prosecuting,’” he said.
“I credit Rudy Giuliani as the mayor who saved New York,” Holden said of the former Republican mayor. “I lived through that. They don’t like to hear it. But I lived through it.”
Among all members of the NYC council, Holden cites himself as one of two moderate Democrats, and that the other members are “socialists.”
“We lived through the Cold War, and socialism did not work and still doesn’t work,” he said.
It’s often suggested to him that he change party affiliations, but he hasn’t done so.
“They say, ‘You should change parties,’ but I say, ‘Why?” I can offer a voice of reason in the Democrat caucus,” he said. “Most of the Democrats in New York City do not agree with their elected officials.
“I am not into this political game at all. This is to serve my constituents and to serve my neighborhoods.”
Besides Holden, Committee Chairman Jim Jordan invited other witnesses to testify alongside him on Monday. New York City Detectives’ Endowment Association head Paul DiGiacomo will testify along with Jewish man Joseph Borgen, who suffered severe injuries during an attack at a pro-Israel rally.
“Other witnesses include Jose Alba, a bodega clerk charged with murder after acting in self-defense; Madeline Brame, the mother of a homicide victim and chairwoman of the Victims Rights Reform Council; and Jennifer Harrison, founder of Victims Rights NY,” Fox News noted.