Manhattan’s new district attorney suggested Monday that NYPD’s top cop misread his controversial memo to prosecutors about downgrading certain felonies and no longer seeking bail or prison time in most cases.
During a radio interview, DA Alvin Bragg said that his 10-page “Day One” memo “was intended for, you know, our, our internal lawyer audience,” even though his office blasted it out in an emailed press release touting his progressive policies last week.
Bragg also said that he and new NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell had communicated “by text” this past weekend and would be meeting soon to hash out their differences.
“We’re gonna sit down this week with our teams,” he said on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show.”
“I look forward to talking with the commissioner. And, you know, addressing any concerns she may still have.”
In a Friday email to cops, Sewell said that she was “very concerned” about the impact of Bragg’s new policies on “your safety as police officers, the safety of the public and justice for the victims.”
“I am making my concerns known to the Manhattan District Attorney and hope to have frank and productive discussions to try and reach more common ground,” she added in the message, which was reported exclusively by The Post.
During his radio interview, Bragg insisted that he would still take a hard line on crimes committed with guns, calling them “serious and significant.”
But Bragg said he wanted to differentiate those cases from others that involve “dangerous instruments,” which he said under the state Penal Law could be “something … like a pork chop.”
Bragg also said a friend from high school had reached out to ask if he wouldn’t prosecute someone who “punches a police officer.”
“And the answer is: Of course not. Of course, that’s not OK,” he said.
“What I did say is: You know, there are times when the only charge is resisting arrest. And I know from my youth growing up in Harlem, that, you know, when that only charge is resisting arrest, it begs the question: Well, what was the, what was the first stop for?”
Resisting arrest is among a number of crimes Bragg will prosecute only if there’s another underlying charge involved.
Bragg added: “When the only charge is, you know, someone may have stiffened up their arms or something like that, when [they’re] going to be handcuffed and I, I can’t be told from the officer, they can’t tell me what the actual arrest was for — to me, that’s, you know, intuitive and makes sense and it’s a pretty narrow category.”