Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said during his campaign that racial equity needed to be a priority and that he didn’t believe thievery should be prosecuted since it was a “crime of poverty.”

During the May 2021 meeting, Bragg articulated his intention to focus on racial equity instead of prosecuting theft.

“I grew up with friends disappearing over charges like that (theft) and even if there is an alternative [to incarceration, such as diversion programs, there is a] consequence of disruption for the family. We need to asking, ‘Does something make us safer?’ And prosecuting a young person, even if it doesn’t end in incarceration [such as in diversion programs], in my view does not make us safer,” he said. “I think we need to move away from what I would call a crime of poverty.”

Bragg was speaking to a group from Young New Yorkers in May 2021. The organization “applies a racial justice framework to… all levels of operations” as it diverts individuals facing charges under the age of 25 from the criminal justice system.

Bragg said his overall intention was to “Shrin[k] the footprint” of the criminal justice system.

A campaign webpage, which has since been scrubbed, said Bragg believed crimes that disproportionately incarcerate Black people are “morally indefensible” to enforce.

“These cases do not belong in criminal court. The punishments are disproportionately harsh, and fall disproportionately on the backs of people of color. This makes them morally indefensible,” Bragg stated on his website. “This is why I will not prosecute most petty offenses through the traditional criminal court system… I will either dismiss these charges outright or offer the accused person the opportunity to complete a program without ever setting foot in a courtroom.”

“In Manhattan, every single step in the way a case is processed from what someone is charged with, to the plea they are offered, to the sentence they are given, is rife with racial disparities,” Bragg said during the 2021 meeting.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York, Friday, March. 31, 2023. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

The New York City Police Department released data showing New York City’s Five Boroughs being overrun with a handful of thieves who were arrested over 6,000 times, and released back into the streets.

During the meeting, Bragg also promised he would create a fracture between the New York City Police Department and the Manhattan DA when he was elected.

“For too long the DA’s office has been an adjunct of the NYPD, reflexively processing what they do,” he said. Bragg added that prosecution should have its own approach and shouldn’t “reflexively” process arrests made by the NYPD.

The statements reflect those from his chief prosecutor, Meg Reiss, who was brought in to Bragg’s office. Reiss has advocated to include a critical race theory framework into prosecution years before joining the Manhattan DA.

Reiss previously bragged about letting violent felons out on the streets, including a murderer, Fox News Digital reported.

Before joining Bragg’s office, Reiss created the Institute for Innovation on Prosecution which suggested prosecutors should intentionally undermine the charges police officers bring forward.

The institute said prosecutors must focus on “acknowledging our nation’s shameful history of slavery and racism which continues to cloud the criminal justice system.”

Bragg’s chief prosecutor has argued for critical race theory ideology to be integrated into the criminal justice system as part of a “new paradigm of prosecution,” while claiming violent criminals are not necessarily “bad dudes.”

“So one of the first things [to] do is change the language: ‘the bad dude.’ What does that mean? What are the circumstances of that person coming into the criminal justice system in the first place? And what is the background to that person?” she said in a 2017 interview unearthed by Fox News Digital.

Reiss has also harshly criticized “jury pools” for giving officers “the benefit of the doubt” during trials into misconduct allegations.

Bragg’s office has been in the spotlight as it leads the hush money probe and indictment of former President Donald Trump on 34 Class E felony charges, which could amount to over 100 years in prison if he is convicted of all charges.

Trump’s indictment marked the first time a U.S. president, former or current, had ever been charged with a crime. Trump has accused Bragg, a Democrat, of political bias against him.

Read the article on Fox News here.