Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg — facing mounting pressure over murder charges brought against a bodega worker who critics say was defending himself — will meet with two bodega associations on Tuesday morning.
Bragg, a progressive who took office in January, has fielded an onslaught of scrutiny in recent days over his office’s decision to bring charges of 2nd Degree Murder against Jose Alba, a bodega clerk who fatally stabbed a man seen accosting him behind the counter.
The meeting with the bodega associations, United Bodegas of America and the Yemeni American Merchants Association, will be centered on “the meaning of Self Defense,” according to a release from UBA. Bragg is scheduled to meet with them at 10 a.m., after which time the groups will hold a press conference.
“It is clear to UBA & YAMA that the Jose Alba case is a self defense case, we hope DA Bragg will agree with us,” said Fernando Mateo, a spokesperson for UBA, in a statement ahead of the meeting. “Self defense is not a crime when the alternative is getting killed.”
Though Bragg has faced heat from conservatives before, the new wave of criticism comes from across the political spectrum, with New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a centrist Democrat, publicly demonstrating a show of support for the bodega employee.
“This is the same message that I've been stating over and over again: That hard working New Yorkers, and Americans to be honest with you, should not be attacked in their place of work,” Adams said in an interview on WABC Radio.
Adams emphasized that district attorneys are “independent” of his office while reiterating his support for Alba, which he said was in line with his job as mayor.
“We're spending time defending people who commit crimes,” Adams added. “I'm going to defend New Yorkers who are doing the right thing.”