Alvin Bragg Elected Manhattan’s First Black District Attorney
(Bloomberg) -- Alvin Bragg was elected Manhattan’s first Black district attorney, a role which will see him tackle rising crime, calls for social justice and the prosecution of former President Donald Trump’s company.
Bragg, a Democrat, easily defeated Republican Thomas Kenniff in deep-blue Manhattan. He will succeed current District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who has held the office since 2010, on Jan. 1.
Harlem native Bragg, 48, will take office a few months after Damian Williams became Manhattan’s first Black chief federal prosecutor. With Breon Peace recently becoming Brooklyn U.S. Attorney, New York City’s three top law-enforcements will all be held by Black men next year. In addition, the state attorney general, Letitia James, is a Black woman.
A former Manhattan federal prosecutor and deputy attorney general, Bragg cited those credentials to successfully chart a middle path through a crowded Democratic primary field divided between progressives eager to defund the D.A.’s office along with the police and candidates pushing a more traditional “law and order” message.
“I have spent the better part of two decades standing up to the powerful and fighting to defend the rights of those without status or power, fighting for both civil rights and public safety,” Bragg said in a statement earlier this year, vowing to focus on cases “that actually make us safer, and deliver one standard of justice for all.”
His commitment to one standard of justice could be put to the test in the most politically charged case Bragg is set to inherit. In July, Vance indicted the Trump Organization and Allen Weisselberg, its former chief financial officer in a sweeping tax case. While Trump hasn’t been charged, prosecutors promised the investigation was “ongoing” and Weisselberg’s lawyer has said he expects further indictments.
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