Alvin Bragg

Alvin Bragg Is Silent on Whether the Pro-Hamas Protestors Who Occupied Columbia University Will Face Charges

DCNF(DCNF)—Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg did not say Wednesday whether he would prosecute protestors who broke into and occupied Hamilton Hall at Columbia University.

Bragg, who is currently prosecuting the case against former President Donald Trump, did not respond to multiple requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation asking whether pro-Palestinian protestors arrested on Tuesday would be charged. The New York Police Department (NYPD) arrested 119 protestors at Columbia on Tuesday night, along with 173 protestors at the separate City University of New York (CUNY) protest, where students occupied an administration building.

“Given his track record and the political nature of the events, I would be surprised if the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office prosecuted the charges in a serious manner,” Cornell Law School professor William Jacobson told the DCNF. “The charges are likely to be dropped against most perpetrators, and drastically reduced for others under an agreement that would see the charges eventually expunged.”

“In New York City, unfortunately, this type of weak prosecution agenda encourages more crime,” Jacobson continued.

Manhattan attorney Martin R. Stolar told The New York Times Tuesday that protestors are unlikely to face jail time.

NYPD Deputy Commissioner Kaz Daughtry said during a press conference Tuesday that potential charges could include “burglary in the third degree, criminal mischief, and trespassing” for students inside Hamilton Hall and “trespassing and disorderly conduct” for those in the encampments outside. The decision to bring charges is ultimately up to the district attorney.

Many individuals at Columbia were “outside agitators,” not students, police said Tuesday.

Protestors took over the building early Tuesday morning around 12:30 a.m. One protestor was seen on video smashing class on a door window with a hammer. A facility worker also claimed to be held “hostage” by the protestors, according to the Columbia Spectator.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators set up the encampment at Columbia over a week ago, with the university issuing a notice on Monday that student protestors would be suspended if they did not clear the encampment. Similar protests have been started on university campuses nationwide, including at the University of Southern California, which canceled its main stage graduation ceremony.

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