In Councilman Holden’s prepared testimony, he introduced himself as representing the 30th District in the Queens borough on the city council and noted that he was a member of the council’s Public Safety Committee, and said, “I am here to address the lawlessness that has taken over this city in recent years as a result of failed progressive policies implemented by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.”
He made reference to Bragg’s memo and how the apparent non-prosecution policy had “reversed” 30 years of anti-crime progress and “has led to a marked increase in criminal activity on the streets of Manhattan.”
“Serious offenses such as knifepoint robbery, commercial and residential burglaries, weapons possession, and ‘low-level’ drug dealing are being charged with lesser offenses or being plea bargained down, resulting in shorter sentences or no jail time at all,” Holden continued. “Bragg’s first year in office was marked by a dramatic shift in the way his office approached criminal prosecutions. We are all feeling Bragg’s soft-on-crime approach on the streets of New York.”
He went on to lament that “repeat offenders” were receiving “lenient sentences” and were then immediately committing “multiple crimes” as soon as they were released, and said that “it seems Alvin Bragg’s top priority was to keep criminals out of jail and free to roam the streets. District Attorney Bragg would be better off as a defense attorney than a prosecutor.”
Holden also cited various current statistics on crime and prosecutions compared to 2019, prior to the pandemic upending everything, and highlighted the embarrassingly low conviction rates — 51 percent for felonies and just 29 percent for misdemeanors — when prosecutions were even pursued at all.