ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

January 30, 2017

Call for a Moratorium on Broken Windows Prosecutions!

Filed under: Uncategorized — nyclaw01 @ 3:23 pm

From: Smith, Alexandra H
Sent: Monday, January 30, 2017 3:23 PM
Subject: Call for a Moratorium on Broken Windows Prosecutions!

New York family, want something concrete to do to protect your immigrant neighbors from Trump?

We are calling on you to contact your borough’s District Attorney, and ask them for amoratorium on broken windows prosecutions. These include offenses like: jumping the subway turnstile, selling DVD’s on the street, forgetting to pay a fine, trespassing in a NYCHA building and having a small amount of marijuana.

These arrests and prosecutions do not make us safer, and already disproportionately burden poor communities of color. But now under Trump these prosecutions are having devastating consequences for our non-citizen community members. In fact, under the new Executive Order, just being accused of a crime could lead to deportation. Until we know what this means for Trump’s immigration enforcement, we are asking the District Attorneys to stop prosecuting broken windows offenses.

Recent reports from public defenders around the city indicate that the NYPD, which largely supports Trump, has been disproportionately arresting undocumented individuals for these minor crimes since the Executive Order came out last week.The only institutional actor in the criminal legal system who has the power to decide to bring or halt charges is the District Attorney. As long as the DA’s offices continue to prosecute broken windows offenses, the NYPD will continue to make these arrests.

New York has promised to be a sanctuary city and the DA’s offices need to do their part to deliver on that promise by exercising their discretion for the community. Halting broken windows prosecutions is the most immediate way of resisting Trump’s plan for mass deportation.

  1. Please call your District Attorneys and ask for a moratorium on broken windows prosecutions!
  • Manhattan: Cyrus Vance* (Dem) 212-335-9000 – press 0
  • Bronx: Darcel D. Clark (Dem) 718-590-2000 – Front Desk
  • Brooklyn: Eric Gonzalez* (Dem) 718-250-2340 – Citizens Action Center
  • Queens: Richard Brown, (Dem) 718-286-6000 – press 0
  • Staten Island: Michael McMahon (Dem) 718-876-6300 – Front Desk

*District Attorneys up for re-election this year (all NYC DAs are elected officials).  

Sample script

  • [Ask to speak to the District Attorney listed above or their deputy]
  • Hi, my name is _____ . Your office represents “the people of the state of NY” in the borough of ______ and I’m calling as one of your constituents. With Donald Trump’s latest Executive Order, all non-citizen New Yorkers face new and grave threats of deportation just by being charged with a crime. I’m calling on you to uphold your duty to protect the people of New York with a moratorium on prosecuting broken windows offenses and quality of life crimes. The harm of deportation now arises at the charging stage, even if the case is later dismissed or the person given a non-criminal violation offer. The DA’s office has enormous discretionary power to act on behalf of the people of this state, and we ask you to use your discretion in service of our collective interests for a strong, diverse and welcoming New York.
  1. Please Tweet your District Attorney


Sample Tweets:

Stop Trump from tearing New York families and communities apart. #NYCdontprosecute #heretostay

Stop deportations before they start! Don’t prosecute broken windows for immigrant and all New Yorkers. #NYCdontprosecute #heretostay

You represent us, the People of the State of NY, and we say no to broken windows prosecutions. #NYCdontprosecute #heretostay

Under Trump, more than ever, broken windows = broken lives. #NYCdontprosecute #heretostay

Five Borough Defenders is an informal association of public defenders, civil rights attorneys, law students, academics, and all those who advocate on behalf of the civil rights of indigent New Yorkers.  Since 2006, Five Borough Defense has provided a forum for the public defense community to discuss, strategize, and encourage the vigorous defense of indigent New Yorkers.  To join our google-group, please send a request to

“Public Defenders stand alone, armed only with their wits, training and dedication. Inspired by their clients’ hope, faith and trust, they are the warriors and valkyries of those desperately in need of a champion. Public Defenders, by protecting the downtrodden and the poor, shield against the infringement of our protections and, in reality, protect us all.” -Hightower v. State, 592 So.2d 689 (Fla. 3d DCA, 1991)(Gersten J., dissenting.)

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