Top cop Sewell, Manhattan DA Bragg meet to hammer out criminal justice reform issues

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In an apparent effort to air out their differences on criminal justice reform, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell met behind closed doors Tuesday.

The talks included “senior staff members met to discuss issues of mutual concern,” according to a joint statement from both elected officials.

“The discussion was open, candid and productive,” they noted.

This meeting comes after some public criticism of DA Bragg’s new policy of not prosecuting certain low-level offenders and minimizing other criminal charges. Previously, Commissioner Sewell had publicly voiced concerns with these new policies.

“I believe in criminal justice reform. I believe in reform that make sense when applied collaboratively,” said Sewell in a memo Jan. 7. “In that same vein, I am concerned about sweeping edicts that seem to remove discretion, not just from police officers, but also from Assistant District Attorneys regarding what crimes to prosecute and how to charge them.”

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