Alvin Bragg has made history by becoming Manhattan’s first Black district attorney.
According to The Associated Press, the 48-year-old civil rights lawyer was sworn into office during a private ceremony, due in part to concerns over the uptick in Covid-19 cases.
The night Bragg was elected to office, he told his supporters, “The fundamental role of the district attorney is to guarantee both fairness and safety.”
He continued, “That is the trust has been given to me on the ballot, but given to all of us – that’s what we’ve worked for – to show the city and the country a model for pairing partnership, pairing fairness and safety into one.”
Bragg is the successor of Cyrus Vance Jr., who held the district attorney position for 12 years. Vance announced in 2020 that he would not seek reelection.
In recent months, some questioned whether Vance would indict former President Donald Trump before leaving his post, however he opted to pass that decision off to Bragg.
Manhattan’s district attorney’s office has been investigating Trump for some time. The investigation was launched after Vance attempted to gain access to Trump’s tax records, The Associated Press reported.
Bragg is now directly involved with the Trump investigation, however, it is unclear if he plans to indict the former president.
In 2018, Bragg worked as a top deputy to New York’s attorney general where he oversaw a lawsuit that alleged the former president used funds from his nonprofit to finance his interests. As a result, Trump’s charitable foundation was shut down.
He also took part in launching a judicial inquiry into the death of Eric Garner who was strangled by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo on July 17, 2014.
Bragg has stated that his personal experiences with the law, are the reasons for why he became an attorney and served as a former federal prosecutor.
During his stint as the district attorney, he plans to address and change major flaws within the district attorney’s office and he hopes to present alternatives to prosecution for those who commit low-level crimes.