“There is no consequence. And it puts the public and New York City detectives and police officers in danger,” NYPD Detectives Union President Paul Digiacomo told “Fox & Friends.”
“You know, you are giving the criminal element, the authority to resist arrest and to get injured. It’s not fair to law-abiding citizens and the law enforcement officers here in New York City who put their lives on the line every day protecting the people of New York.”
Bragg defended his policies after being criticized.
“We have a time where we have both violence rising and incarceration, and the goal is to simultaneously reduce both,” Bragg told Fox News.
“I had a shooting on my block a month ago, I’ve had a knife to my neck, I’ve had a semi-automatic weapon to my head, I know these issues intimately. So what we are doing is not working, plain and simple and this is our path forward. This is how we reduce violent crime the most.”
On his third day in office, he sent a memo stressing “diversion and alternatives to incarceration”…such as crisis intervention programs, instead of sending some criminals to jail. The no-jail time exceptions are murder, a crime that involves someone’s death, or a felony. And several serious crimes, such as some cases of armed robbery, are being reduced to misdemeanors. He also vows to limit sentences to 20 years, even for murder convictions.
Bragg’s office will also largely no longer prosecute some trespass offenses, the charge of resisting arrest, subway and bus fare beating and sex work. He is also reducing charges for stealing from stores or from home storage areas, and drug dealing.
Bragg says it is time for a fresh, new approach to the country’s criminal justice system that is failing the most vulnerable. He says the system needs to focus on mental health and substance abuse, which he notes are often the causes of repeat offenders.
Police unions and crime victims’ advocates have blasted the new policies, accusing Bragg of adopting policies that will only encourage criminality.
Starbright Floral Design Partner Nic Faitos called Bragg’s plan a bad idea.
“Nobody has a monopoly on good ideas. God almighty this is a bad one. I have never seen one policy that anybody can come up with, which can at the same time demoralize one faction, our police departments and on the other hand give give criminals a checklist of things that they can do that can no longer be considered crimes.”
Fox News’ Eric Shawn contributed to this report.