New York City’s Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg reiterated clarifications related to the controversial memo he submitted to his office earlier this year, and said the city was “really in crisis” as shootings spiked nearly 30% year-to-date.
Bragg, who took office in January, spoke Tuesday as part of a virtual speaker series hosted by Coro New York Leadership Center, and largely discussed his career and path toward D.A. He also took questions from attendees, including one who asked about the memo that Bragg had released to his staff just days after beginning his tenure.
The former federal prosecutor previously acknowledged that the memo “left the wrong impression” about his policy plans and added that it “left many New Yorkers justifiably concerned.” He then released a letter to staff on Friday further clarifying and outlining new plans for how certain policies should be addressed.
“I take accountability for that, not kind of having the appropriate kind of scaffolding and context around some of the things,” he told the group on Tuesday.
He added that he and his office needed “to do a better job” of pointing to the data, so people can understand “not only is it that the sky won’t fall, it’s that we look at what our counterparts have been doing, and you look at the relative incarceration rates and then the safety rates. And you can see we can, we can do these and implement these changes and be safe, if not safer.”
“We’re really in crisis,” he said, also noting that domestic violence and hate crimes have seen upticks. He previously said his office was taking extra steps to address the issues, such as devoting additional resources to combat hate crimes and enlisting the office’s longtime prosecutors to act as coordinators for gun violence prevention efforts.
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