Bodega Clerk Sues Manhattan District Attorney For Racial Discrimination

A bodega clerk is suing Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for what he claims was racial discrimination in a lawsuit filed on Sept. 29. The man, Jose Alba, was thrown into Rikers jail after he fatally stabbed an attacker while working at a Harlem convenience store.

In July 2022, Alba was at the Blue Moon Bodega when ex-con Austin Simon attacked him. In what he claims was an act of self-defense, the 61-year-old fatally stabbed Simon, according to the Daily Mail. He was originally charged with second-degree murder for killing the 35-year-old, whom he stabbed in the neck and chest.

However, many believed the charges were unjustified, prompting a social outcry against the prosecution. In the wake of the unanticipated backlash, Bragg’s offices decided to drop the charges. However, Alba is not accepting his release after six days in Rikers as a remedy for his suffering.

Intense public scrutiny and pressure from elected officials led to his reduced bail and subsequent dropping of charges.

“My heart goes out to the employee who was in the store doing his job, ” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “I am hoping that we take all of that into consideration, as this hard-working New Yorker was doing his job, and someone aggressively went behind the counter to attack him.”

Alba believes that he was used by the district attorney and his office after the charges against him were dropped. The filing stated that the attorney’s “racial equity” policies have, in turn, had a negative effect on certain races,

‘While in theory, Bragg’s ‘racial equity’ policies are a well-intentioned attempt by him to implement even-handed justice, the means and methods employed by Bragg have instead had an opposite effect and resulted in discrimination against certain defendants based on race.”

Alba is also suing Department of Corrections Commissioner Louis Molina and additional staff on the grounds of “unconstitutional” and “inadequate” treatment he endured at the Rikers facility.

Bragg pulled back on the hefty charges after a further evidence review determined Alba was not using excessive force in defending himself. While a settlement was attempted at first, Alba is now continuing his suit in the hopes of receiving damages.

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