Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said Sunday that Manhattan’s new district attorney Alvin Bragg is “handcuffing the police” and blamed his election on George Soros, claiming the billionaire has “effectively destroyed the criminal justice system in America.”
Bratton, speaking on John Catsimatidis’ Sunday radio show, said the new DA is a “recipe for disaster.”
“He’s well-intended in the sense that he’s trying to find a way to address some of the issues of the past,” Bratton said. “You don’t address the issues of the past by effectively decriminalizing just about everything in New York City.”
Bragg, a Democratic, kept to his campaign promise during his first week in office and told his staff to only seek prison time for those who commit the most severe crimes.
“Reserving incarceration for matters involving significant harm will make us safer,” Bragg wrote in a Jan. 3 memo to staff, outlining his “key principles” that include investing in “diversion and alternatives to incarceration,” reducing pre-trial jail-time, a focus on “accountability not sentence length,” and limiting youth being tried as adults.
“The DA is effectively handcuffing the police,” Bratton said of Bragg’s progressive vision, “basically saying they don’t have any confidence in the police force. They don’t trust them. They are effectively removing so many tools out of the toolbox … that we know kept New York safe for the last 30 years.”
The former commissioner slammed Bragg’s decision to not prosecute fare evasion — a policy that was already in place under former DA Cy Vance.
Bratton said Bragg poses a difficult challenge for the new mayor Eric Adams, who has promised a return to broken-windows policing and campaigned on his tough-on-crime approach.
“I don’t know how Mr. Adams is going to do that when the DA is effectively handcuffing the police,” he said.
Bratton then cited the $1 million donation that Hungarian-born philanthropist Soros and his Open Society group of non-profits gave to Bragg through the Color of Change political action committee.
“If you look at every city in America that has violent crime increases and disorder increases…what is the one common denominator?” Bratton said. “District attorneys, almost all of whom are funded phenomenally by George Soros.”
Soros, of course, wasn’t the only big donor in the contentious primary last year for the Manhattan DA gig. Tali Farhadian Weinstein, who came in a close second, donated more than $8 million of her own money into her campaign, and Wall Street flooded her war chest with millions as well.
“Soros and his people have people have figured out how to basically gerrymander the system,” Bratton claimed, saying he has “effectively destroyed the criminal justice system in America.”
Bragg has been on the defense in his first week in office, saying he was surprised by the pushback but pledging to remain steadfast in his principles.
“We said we were going to marry fairness and safety and we laid out a specific plan,”
he said in a speech at the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network headquarters. “We put on the website, we put it in print and this week after January 1st we got down to work and we are doing what we said we would do.”