Father of beating victim lays into Nadler, Schumer at House Judiciary hearing for enabling DA Bragg

A House Judiciary Committee field hearing held in New York City on Monday gave victims of unchecked crime a voice to speak, and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg wasn’t the only Democratic politician to feel the brunt.

“…I wouldn’t vote for you either.”

Committee chair Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) took the fight to combat progressive prosecutors’ soft-on-crime policies on the road with an NYC hearing titled, “Victims of Violent Crime in Manhattan.” Aiming to expose how Bragg’s “pro-crime, ant-victim policies have led to an increase in violent crime and a dangerous community for New York City residents,” the hearing featured testimony from victims and their family members.

Among them was Barry Borgen, whose son Joseph had been assaulted in an antisemitic attack in 2021 only to see the assailant released after being charged with a hate crime. Having taken place before Bragg was elected DA, the father directed his ire at prominent New York Democrats and Jews, Senate Leader Chuck Schumer and Rep. Jerry Nadler.

“I must take notice with Mr. Nadler,” he railed after his son’s assault had been recounted. “You’re a Jewish New Yorker. I called your office numerous times. I called Mr. Schumer’s office, another Jewish New Yorker, numerous times. No one called us back. Neither one of you came out [with] a statement on my son’s incident.”

“You’re a Jewish New Yorker. You have Jewish roots here. Behavior like this enables DA Bragg to just do whatever he wants to do,” Borgen leveled.

Because of their flippancy, he went on to assert, “We wouldn’t vote for Mr. Schumer again…And if I lived in Manhattan, I wouldn’t vote for you either.”

At the time of Joseph Borgen’s attack, the suspect, Waseem Awawdeh had allegedly called the man a “dirty Jew” and said, “F**k Israel, Hamas is going to kill all of you.”

However, Bragg was not clear of culpability in the case as the New York Post noted it was he who had offered Awawdeh a plea deal, allowing him to serve only six months in prison.

Additional testimony was provided by Jose Alba, the bodega clerk whom Bragg had thrown in Riker’s Island prison after he stabbed a man in self-defense to save his own life, and Madeline Brame, the mother of Afghanistan War veteran Sgt. Hason Correa who was killed in 2018 after suffering numerous stab wounds as he was beaten.

Mary Saunders had been sentenced to only one year and was set free for time served after having spent 14 months behind bars.

“When Alvin Bragg came into office, he was handed a strong, trial-ready murder case and gang assault case against all four of these individuals,” Brame said Monday regarding Saunders and her siblings, all involved in the murder of her son.

“He dismissed — completely dismissed — gang assault and murder indictments against two of the defendants clearly on video participating in the brutal, savage slaughter of my son,” Brame continued. “Hason was kicked, punched, stomped and stabbed nine times by four individuals whom he did not know, nor had he done them any harm.”

Two of the assailants had been sentenced to 20 years to life, but one had only garnered seven years and was expected to be released within 18 months. “If that’s not a threat to public safety, I don’t know what is.”

“And as far as the Manhattan district attorney’s office, if he’s receiving one penny of federal dollars, you need to pull that funding until he starts doing his damn job and prosecuting crime,” she asserted.

In defense of his record, Bragg’s office released a statement Monday that read, “Ending violence, stopping crime, and supporting victims and their families are the most sacred duties of the Manhattan D.A.’s Office. D.A. Bragg is reducing crime in Manhattan, reversing a tough spike that began before he even took office. Virtually every major crime category is lower in Manhattan now than it was last year. During the first quarter of 2023 the NYPD reported steep declines in most major crime categories, including murder, rape, robbery, and burglary.”

“For outside politicians to now appear in New York City on the taxpayer dime for a political stunt is a slap in the face to the dedicated NYPD officers, prosecutors and other public servants who work tirelessly every day with facts and data to keep our home safe,” the statement asserted. “D.A. Bragg and the Manhattan D.A.’s Office will always work with any local, sate or federal partner who is serious about achieving lasting public safety.”

Meanwhile, in his own statement, Nadler dismissed the hearing as a political stunt and charged, “This hearing is being called for one reason and one reason only, to protect Donald Trump,” as he argued NYC is “one of the safest big cities in America.”

Kevin Haggerty


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