Alvin Bragg, a former top deputy to New York’s attorney general, made history Tuesday, being elected Manhattan's first Black district attorney.
Bragg, a born-and-raised Harlem resident and former federal prosecutor, beat out Thomas Kenniff, a defense attorney and Iraq war veteran, in the general election with 83% of the vote and nearly 70% of precincts reporting Tuesday night.
“I am humbled by this opportunity and this profound responsibility to fight for fairness and safety in Manhattan,” said Bragg at his election night party at Harlem Tavern.
He will replace Cy Vance, who first took office in 2010 and chose not to seek a fourth term.
The office is one of the most high-profile prosecutorial offices in the country.
Bragg is set to inherit the investigation into the Trump Organization, which began under Vance.
The organization and its CFO Allen Weisselberg have been indicted on tax fraud charges, but former President Donald Trump has not faced any charges.
That could change as the probe continues with the next DA.
“I’m going to follow the facts wherever they go,” Bragg said.
Bragg’s victory comes after his win in the competitive and historically diverse eight-way primary back in June.
He ran his campaign as a progressive reformer, championing the ideals of fairness and safety.
As a longtime Harlem resident, Bragg often draws on his personal experiences to explain what motivates his work.
“Growing up, I had a gun pointed at me six times — three by the NYPD during lawless stops and three by people who were not police officers,” said Bragg during the Manhattan DA debate with NY1 in May. “These early experiences are why I went to law school and why for the past 20 plus years I've been fighting for both civil rights and public safety.”
Touting his experience as a prosecutor and a civil rights attorney, Bragg positioned himself as the candidate best fit to meet the needs of the city as calls for criminal justice reform are raised alongside the threat of increasing gun violence.
He vowed to cease prosecutions of a number of low-level offenses such as fare-beating and resisting arrest and has frequently cited the need for police accountability.
“We’re going to govern from the perspective of someone who’s lived this and who's worked on these issues for 20 plus years,” he said Tuesday night.
Bragg has vowed on his first day to create a Police Integrity Unit on his first day in office. The division will work exclusively on police misconduct cases and report directly to Bragg.
Still, Bragg will be assuming a role that requires close working relations with the police department. The DA office handles tens of thousands of cases against defendants each year, a large amount of those cases relying upon the arrests by the NYPD.
Bragg points to his history of working alongside law enforcement as an example of how he sees his relationship with the NYPD moving forward.
“I worked as a federal prosecutor, a state prosecutor, in partnership with law enforcement while holding them accountable — I see that happening in this role,” he said. “We need our police to fight gun trafficking. We need our police on sexual assault cases. We need our police on hate crimes. And I’ve worked with police hand in hand to make us safer and I can do that while also holding police and prosecutors accountable.”