Manhattan D.A. declining to prosecute protest arrests
Cyril Josh Barker | 6/11/2020, midnight
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr. recently announced his office is not prosecuting people arrested during the ongoing demonstrations against the use of excessive force and killing of George Floyd. Previously, the D.A.’s Office’s policy was to offer individuals charged with these low-level offenses an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal, meaning their cases would be dismissed within six months. Under the new policy, the D.A.’s Office will decline prosecuting arrests “in the interest of justice.” The office will also continue to evaluate and decline to prosecute other protest-related charges where appropriate. The D.A. office’s policy is designed to minimize unnecessary interactions with the criminal justice system, reduce racial disparities and collateral consequences in low-level offense prosecutions, and enable the office and court system to preserve resources for the prosecution of serious crimes. Individuals participating in violence against police officers, destruction, or looting will be charged with appropriate crimes.