New York City’s district attorney has downgraded 52% of all felony cases so far in 2022 to misdemeanors, compared to the 39% downgraded in 2019, according to data posted the DA’s website.
In 2021, District Attorney Alvin Bragg ran on a campaign in favor of criminal justice reform, promising to uphold changes to the law that allows cash bail for violent crimes.
Bragg won his campaign and took office on Jan. 1, and just days later, he released a “Day One” memo to staff directing them to downgrade certain felonies, including armed robberies of commercial businesses, and to no longer seek jail time for many serious offenses.
New York Police Department Commissioner Keechant Sewell, at the time, wrote in a leaked email that Bragg’s policies could endanger the public and undermine justice for victims.
The NYPD’s latest crime statistic reports show that overall crimes are up 27.6%, with 112,755 reported so far in 2022 compared to 88,394 reported during the same period in 2021.
During the same period, there was a reported 13.2% increase in felony assaults, with a jump from 20,563 to 23,270 this year; rapes increased from 1,336 to 1,471; robberies from 12,033 to 15,639; and transit crimes from 1,316 to 1,865.
Murders in the Big Apple are down from 432 to 372, and shootings are down from 1,688 to 1,438.
Bragg, according to data on his website, and his department declined to prosecute 35% more felony cases than in 2019, factoring in the court system’s delays in prosecuting cases from 2020-22.
The DA’s report also shows bail was requested for 2,518 felony cases so far in 2022, compared to 3,848, in 2019.