gov. Kathy Hochul said she “cut” embattled Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg “some slack” after putting him on notice last week about growing concern that his office’s soft-on-crime prosecution policies are contributing to a rise in Big Apple gun violence.
Hochul defended the DA’s short time on the job, asking New Yorkers to give him a grace period.
“He needs to do his job and he’s doing it right now,” the governor said Tuesday during a Bronx-based press conference.
“You judge by the balance, I mean, you’re going to see again, someone who’s been on the job a very short time – I cut some slack – he’s only been on the job a quarter of the time that I have, and I’ve been on the job a very short time. So, let him work with the other district attorneys. I know they have conversations,” she said.
Hochul pointed to Bragg’s appointment of Peter Pope as his new Executive Assistant District Attorney for Gun Violence Prevention just days after the Harlem killings of two NYPD officers as a positive step.
“Let him work with [the] NYPD and the mayor to identify areas where they need to have prosecutions and work together. Let the process play out. So he can do what he wants, what he needs to do, which is help establish that sense of security that New Yorkers are looking for – that involves…gun prosecutions,” she asked.
Bragg met with Mayor Eric Adams and the city’s four other DA’s on Monday, releasing a joint statement afterwards declaring “safety and justice are not mutually exclusive, and must go hand in hand.”
It echoes the line Hochul used last week after her private sit down with Bragg, which she reiterated Tuesday.
“We also have to ensure that there is fairness in this system, that we still have a system of justice. So those are my values. Those are values we spoke about, but also making sure that we are giving that confidence by taking actions,” said the gov.
Hochul also revealed the pair spoke about “safety on the subways” during their discussion, following the fatal Times Square subway shove of Michelle Go, who was pushed to her death in mid-January.
Business leaders have also groused that Bragg’s policies don’t help their cause to get workers feeling safe to resume commuting on public transportation – a priority for Hochul as she pushes employers to get individuals back into offices as part of her pandemic recovery plan.
“I want to make sure I can get New Yorkers to feel safe and secure and take that subway to come for their jobs, or for entertainment. That is the lifeline and he understood that this is an area where we can improve public safety, as well as prosecutions of people who violate the laws. I mean that’s the bottom line,” Hochul said.
“We talked about prosecution of individuals who are violating the laws, and so it was a very productive conversation.”
But Long Island’s Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi, who is challenging Hochul in a primary for her seat, said she needs to do far more about Bragg.
“Hochul is endangering New Yorkers and pandering to the far left by ‘cutting him some slack.’” he told The Post.
Suozzi pushed one step further, declaring he’ll “remove dangerous DA’s” and “fix bail reform.”
“She won’t. Governor Hochul is playing politics with the safety and lives of New Yorkers,” he said.