Alvin Bragg

Democratic Candidate for Manhattan District Attorney

Alvin Bragg is running as the candidate who has been on both sides of the equation and believes that his personal and intimate interactions with the legal system and years of government services make him uniquely suited to revamp the office amid a national reckoning over public safety and racial inequality.

“Many of my close friends had some interaction with the criminal justice system, and I generally had been the one called to assist in my capacity as a lawyer.” (City & State July 2019)

“Let me be clear. There are still cases where we will need police. I prosecuted the owner of a $30 million business who laundered tens of millions of dollars for a violent criminal enterprise that beheaded people. This is the type of case where we need armed officers.” (Medium.com June 2020)

Qualifications/ Experience

Prosecutorial Experience

  • Alvin Bragg served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

Managerial Experience

  • Bragg has practiced criminal defense and handled police accountability and public corruption cases at the New York Attorney General’s Office, where he later became a top office executive overseeing 1,200 people.

Top Priorities as DA

  • Trafficking & Violent Crime (Guns & Drugs): Bragg said he intends to “create a high-quality, survivor-centered, dedicated sex crimes unit” that reports to him directly. He believes Manhattan needs a new District Attorney who delivers one standard of justice for all and puts survivors at the center of the process. (Source: alvinbragg.com)
  • Reducing Prosecution of Petty Crimes: Bragg plans to prioritize downsizing the footprint of the district attorney’s office through a reduction in the prosecution of misdemeanors, among other things.
  • Police Accountability: “We need a stand-alone unit of lawyers who are only investigating police misconduct.” Bragg adds that prosecutors should not only look at the use of force but also lying by police officers. (Source: Law 360)
Candidate's Standing On The Issues

Prosecution of Crime

  • “More than 80% of our city’s docket are misdemeanors,” he said. “We need to shrink that system and focus on the kind of public safety cases that I’ve done my whole career: gun trafficking and matters like that.” (Source: Law 360)
  • “We must treat drug addiction as a healthcare issue while directing prosecutorial resources to large-scale narcotics operations.”
  • Bragg lists trespassing, larceny under $250, minor driving offenses, disorderly conduct, drug possession and prostitution as crimes he would not prosecute. (Source: Gothamist)

Public Safety

  • Bragg believes that the Manhattan DA should focus on prosecuting those who perpetrate “real harm” or pose a “safety risk” to the community. He appears to believe that offenses such as gun trafficking, money laundering and other financial crimes, as well as sexual offenses are under-prosecuted. (Source: 5bd.org)

On Guns

  • Bragg believes that “comprehensive gun-violence reduction can only be achieved through a multi-faceted approach that includes law enforcement, community intervention/improvement, and legislative change.” (Source: alvinbragg.com)
  • “By the time a case gets to the point of criminal prosecution, it is already too late,” said Mr. Bragg, noting that 90% of guns found at the city’s crime scenes came from out of state. At the New York Attorney General’s Office, his team designed a technology to trace guns found at a crime scene back to a licensed firearms dealer. (Source: Wall Street Journal)

On Recidivism

  • On the issue of recidivism, Bragg said he would follow a “do no harm” approach, and decline to prosecute individuals for technical parole violations. (Source: Law 360)

On the role of NYPD

  • Bragg has advocated for defunding the police, and one of his largest priorities is holding the police accountable. He has said that he would increase accountability through thorough and independent investigations, transparency and fairer prosecutions. He has expressed the desire to establish a police accountability unit separate from the DA’s office. (Source: alvinbragg.com)
  • Bragg has also pledged to change the friendly, close relationship between the DA’s office and the NYPD. He is proud to be the only candidate who has successfully prosecuted a law enforcement officer, and he is currently representing Eric Garner’s family in their suit against the City. (Source: 5bd.org)

Mental Illness & Crime

  • Bragg seeks to stop the criminalization of poverty and homelessness by radically changing the operations of criminal courts. He plans to expand the use and quality of diversion programs for those struggling with addiction or mental health. He believes that medical professionals, not DAs, should be responsible for decisions related to mental health and drug treatment and he would not reflexively ask for jail sanctions when a person experiences relapse. (Source: 5bd.org)
  • He will establish a Public Health Unit that will focus on homelessness and mental health issues that often intersect with the criminal justice system. The Unit will be fully staffed with individuals who are trained to have specialized knowledge of homelessness and mental health issues. (Source: alvinbragg.com)
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