Manhattan will be getting a lot less safe if Democratic primary voters embrace any of the more criminal-friendly candidates to replace New York County District Attorney Cy Vance.
Vance hasn’t said he’s not running, but he’s raised little cash for a campaign — and looks vulnerable enough that a host of candidates have jumped into the race.
We’ve complained about his overly soft approach, particularly regarding quality-of-life violations. But most of his eight would-be successors want to pave the way for lawlessness and violence even worse than what’s now plaguing the city.
Most of the eight, for example, brag about all the crimes they won’t prosecute.
Eliza Orlins, a public defender for 10 years, vows to “discontinue the prosecution of low-level offenses” and “decriminalize” prostitution. (And never mind that decriminalization is a job for lawmakers, not prosecutors.) And though NYPD funding cuts last year contributed to a doubling of shootings and 40 percent more murders, she says the department should be slashed another 50 percent — and the DA’s office shrunk, too.
Assemblyman Dan Quart decries “mass arrests” and wants to end “surveillance-based gang prosecutions.” He proudly boasts 18 offenses he won’t prosecute — trespassing, resisting arrest, the “vast majority of welfare fraud and possession of stolen property,” etc. — regardless of what the law says.
At least two wannabes seem relatively sane: Tali Farhadian Weinstein, a former counsel to Obama Attorney General Eric Holder and a clear progressive, won’t give up her right to prosecute low-level offenses or cite other crimes she won’t go after.
Liz Crotty, who knows the system both as a prosecutor and defense attorney and is the daughter of former city Corp. Counsel Paul Crotty, stresses the need for “New Yorkers to feel safe while returning to their normal lives.” Safety, she notes, is “the cornerstone” of the city’s success. Sadly, such words are rarely heard from a New York pol these days.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea singles out soft-on-crime prosecutors, along with judges, for much of 2020’s alarming spike in violence. If Manhattanites don’t want to see crime keep rising, they’d best choose a DA who actually spares a thought for crime victims.
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