The jurisdictions funded under the Manhattan District Attorney’s Sexual Assault Kit Backlog Elimination Grant Program have seen tremendous results. Over the duration of the program, 32 jurisdictions across 20 states sent over 55,000 backlogged kits for testing.
As we have seen recently with the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and six years ago right here in New York City with the death of Eric Garner, the use of chokeholds and other holds or restraining techniques that can cut off the supply of oxygen to a person’s brain have an unacceptably high risk of death. The NYPD has long recognized the danger of chokeholds, and banned its use nearly three decades ago.
On the ninth day of protests against police violence, which has resulted in hundreds of demonstrators detained by the NYPD, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced it will not prosecute non-violent protesters “in the interest of justice.”
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance on Friday said his office will decline to prosecute marchers arrested for breaking the city’s 8 p.m. curfew while out protesting the death of George Floyd — and he commended New Yorkers for sticking up for their civil liberties.
“The prosecution of protestors charged with these low-level offenses undermines critical bonds between law enforcement and the communities we serve. Days after the killing of George Floyd, our nation and our city are at a crossroads in our continuing endeavor to confront racism and systemic injustice wherever it exists. Our office has a moral imperative to enact public policies which assure all New Yorkers that in our justice system and our society, black lives matter and police violence is a crime. We commend the thousands of our fellow New Yorkers who have peacefully assembled to demand these achievable aims, and our door is open to any New Yorker who wishes to be heard.”