Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is so against sending people to jail or prison that he’s ignoring state law to avoid it — a law intended to protect first responders, to boot.
Specifically, his office is refusing to bring felony charges against a Harlem hospital patient who viciously assaulted a nurse.
Nikcia Martin left veteran nurse Valentino Tablang bloodied and afraid of losing sight in one eye with a random attack on Feb. 7. Cops charged Martin with felony assault, as the state penal code requires in cases of attacks on nurses doing their jobs — but Bragg’s office downgraded it to a misdemeanor charge.
That’s right: In the rare instances where our state penal code still actually mandates meaningful punishments, Bragg will blatantly subvert it. No wonder felony crimes in the city have hit highs not seen in more than a decade.
Of course, Bragg’s flacks cloak the ugly deed in the usual progressive platitudes. The lesser charges “take into account” Martin’s “underlying mental health needs.” Huh? If those “needs” make her a menace, the DA should be rushing to get her committed, not making it a get-out-of-jail-free card.
Also, what about the public-safety needs of nurses? And not just nurses: The same law mandates felony charges for on-the-job attacks on cops, firefighters, sanitation workers and a whole spectrum of other essential city workers. Bragg is telling them they’re on their own, too.
Plus, Tablang says the DA’s office told him it simply didn’t have time to deal with the felony case. We get that other insane criminal justice “reforms” (burdensome discovery rules) hamstring prosecutors and leave DA offices short-staffed — but if that crisis means the best-funded DA in the entire nation can’t protect health-care workers, Bragg should be sounding the alarm daily.
Count this outrage as one more sign that the Manhattan DA thinks he’s supposed to serve lawbreakers, not law-abiding citizens.
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