Ex-bodega clerk Jose Alba sues NYC DA Alvin Bragg for racial discrimination after murder charges dropped


FIRST ON FOX — The New York City bodega clerk who had murder charges dropped after video showed he acted in self-defense is suing District Attorney Alvin Bragg and NYPD for civil rights violations.

Jose Alba, an ex-bodega worker who was attacked behind the counter on July 1, 2022, by 35-year-old Austin Simon and his girlfriend, Tina Lee, filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York on Friday alleging he was wrongfully prosecuted because of the Manhattan district attorney's "racial equity" policies. The complaint names Bragg, NYPD Detective William Garcia, and unidentified arresting officers and detectives of the NYPD as defendants in the case.

"New York County District Attorney Alvin Bragg and/or his subordinates, following Bragg’s policy to achieve ‘racial equity’ in the Manhattan criminal justice system, charged Plaintiff with murder in the second degree and asked for high bail at Plaintiff’s arraignment," the complaint states.

"Despite the fact that Simon and Lee were the initial aggressors, it was Plaintiff who was arrested, incarcerated, and wrongfully prosecuted. While in theory, Bragg’s ‘racial equity’ policies are a well-intentioned attempt by him to implement even-handed justice, the means and methods employed by Bragg have instead had an opposite effect and resulted in discrimination against certain defendants based on race."

The lawsuit also names Department of Corrections Commissioner Louis Molina and other DOC officials as defendants "responsible for the unconstitutional conditions of confinement and inadequate medical care at Rikers Island."

Alba's attorney, Richard Cardinale, told Fox News Digital Alba is seeking justice and compensatory and punitive damages against the city.

Alba's case grabbed national headlines for months after he was charged with second-degree murder for killing Simon, who was seen on surveillance video first coming behind the cashier's desk at the Blue Moon convenience store in Manhattan and attacking him. Despite claiming self-defense, Alba was sent to Riker's Island prison and initially given $250,000 bail, outraging the city's Dominican community.

"After the video of Simon and Lee’s attack on Plaintiff was shown by the news media, and Plaintiff’s arrest, prosecution and incarceration at Rikers Island Correctional Facility became a national story, there was widespread outrage against Bragg and his office for charging a law-abiding, older working man for lawfully defending himself during the crime wave in New York City, caused in part by the massive resignations of New York City Police Officers, and legislation and policies that frustrate the ability for law enforcement to combat crime," the complaint states.... (Read more)

Submitted 67 days ago

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