Alvin Bragg is the new District Attorney for Manhattan. But in his unveiling of policy changes, Bragg reintroduced a summary of his upbringing that some sources are doubting.
It’s a pressing situation considering how, according to Tuesday’s New York Post, an ex-convict who threatened a drug store owner at knifepoint was not given felony robbery charges because of Bragg’s policymaking.
The Daily Mail’s latest expose shines a light on the wealthy background of Alvin Bragg, who during his campaign as District Attorney tried to convey a more struggling past.
Alvin Bragg is "trying to score cool points in the hood, but he's not Tupac Shakur. More like Baby Face," according to one NYPD detective who spoke with the outlet.
It’s revealed that Bragg went to Trinity School, a private institution in the Upper West Side of NYC. The accusations of privilege come from the fact Trinity has a tuition rate of $57,000 a year.
Daily Mail cites a Harvard Chronicle profile of Bragg that touches on his time at Trinity. "Bragg says he enjoyed Trinity, despite occasionally feeling like teachers asked him to be the 'flag-bearer' for his race in a discussion." His usual classroom surroundings were described as "overwhelmingly white."
Contrast that with the January 3 memo from Alvin Bragg. "Growing up in Harlem in the 1980s, I saw every side of the criminal justice system from a young age. Before I was 21 years old, I had a gun pointed at me six times: three by police officers and three by people who were not police officers. I had a knife to my neck, a semi-automatic gun to my head, and a homicide victim on my doorstep."
After Trinity School, Bragg went to Harvard and enrolled in student government programs there. Bragg’s parents were able to give Alvin these opportunities because his mother eventually became dean of academic affairs at Manhattan Community College, while his father was a career activist with the New York Urban League, operating out of the Manhattan area.
"He's made his biography his moral compass, making it seem like there's something magic about his life story that gives him the wisdom to establish policies that affect over one million people," a source told Daily Mail. The emphasis on Bragg leveraging his background was a shared observation.
A July 2021 background piece on Alvin Bragg by The Patch skips the majority of his primary schooling years. To the media he emphasized interactions with law enforcement instead.
As for Alvin Bragg’s prosecution policies: The New York Times, New York Post, and The New York Daily News all reported on it within the last week. They include extreme leniency on things like resisting arrest and other non-violent charges. This extends to trespassing cases in several scenarios, as well as burglaries.
In Bragg’s opinion this is supposed to free up resources to tackle violent crime. But on Monday it was reported New York businesses are furious enough to suggest recalling the new Manhattan DA already.
While NYC Mayor Eric Adams applauded Bragg’s "real vision," more recent stories suggest a clash between NYPD commissioner Keechant Sewell and Alvin Bragg, given his sweeping policy changes.