New York City’s New Police Department Commissioner Keechant Sewell questioned the safety of her officers after new Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg released a memo stating his crime policies.
According to theBlaze, Bragg released his “Day One” memo last week, which outlined his vision for criminal prosecutions. The memo told prosecutors to “stop prosecuting many low-level crimes, reduce charges for certain crimes, and advises against pursuing ‘a carceral sentence’ — unless required by law — for crimes other than homicide, serious violent felony crimes ‘in which a deadly weapon causes serious physical injury,’ domestic violence felonies, certain sex offenses, public corruption cases, and other white-collar crime.”
Sewell sent a memo to NYPD officers Friday night expressing concern about Bragg’s policies, stating that the DA’s decisions to downgrade or not prosecute certain crimes raises worries about officer safety, public safety and justice for victims.
Adding that she believes in criminal justice reform, Sewell raised concern with “sweeping edicts that seem to remove discretion, not just from police officers, but also from assistant district attorneys regarding what crimes to prosecute and how to charge them.”
Bragg’s policy of declining to charge cases of resisting arrest and obstruction also caught Sewell’s attention. Sewell asked how officers can possibly do their jobs safely “if individuals are allowed to interfere with impunity.” Sewell added that “interactions between officers and the public will needlessly escalate because the incentive to cooperate (i.e. accountability) is entirely eliminated from the equation.”
Bragg released a statement in response saying that “we share Commissioner Sewell’s call for frank and productive discussions to reach common ground on our shared mission to deliver safety and justice for all and look forward to the opportunity to clear up some misunderstandings. This conversation, that has already started, is best done directly and not through the media.”