Prosecutor defends release of teen who attacked NYPD cops on subway
The 16-year-old is facing his third felony arrest in less than four months – including gun possession
By Sarah Calams
NEW YORK — Earlier this week, a video showing two teens violently assaulting NYPD officers in a subway station went viral. The encounter set off more calls for officer safety after news surfaced that one of the teens involved was arrested and charged, but later released on his own recognizance.
Now, prosecutor Alvin Bragg is defending his office’s decision to release the 16-year-old, who is facing his third felony arrest in less than four months, FOX News reported. Three days before the attack on the NYPD officers, the teen was arrested and later released for allegedly beating and robbing a stranger, according to the report.
“Our system must respond to children as children,” a spokesperson for Bragg said.
After the attack on the NYPD officers, prosecutors recommended diversion to family court – meaning the teen would be tried as a child and will not face prison time.
“Violence against our police officers is unacceptable, but given his age at the time of the arrest, we consented to send the second case to family court as soon as possible, where he would receive the age-appropriate interventions and support he needs while being held accountable,” Bragg’s spokesperson continued.
Mark Bederow, a former Manhattan prosecutor, disagreed with Bragg’s decision, saying, “If violence against police officers is unacceptable, why ignore the violent robbery arrest? This isn’t accountability. This is lunacy.”