On Wednesday, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced the indictment of an NYPD officer who apparently punched an unruly serial shoplifter while trying to escort him out of an Upper West Side Apple store. The incident involved just one punch and resulted in no injuries.

This follows on the heels of DA Bragg’s recent legal moves against other New Yorkers who appeared to be defending themselves against perpetrators. Last year, Bragg sought to bring murder charges against a bodega worker even though surveillance video showed that he was defending himself against an assailant who attacked him first. The case was finally dropped. Daniel Penny was recently indicted by Bragg on manslaughter charges involving the death of a homeless man who was threatening subway riders. His case is still pending.


There was no compelling evidence, at least none of which we are aware, that the person charged in any of these cases was engaged in anything other than self-defense or conduct that was reasonable under the circumstances; yet all of these individuals were charged because of what appears to us to be an overarching, visceral solicitude for the downtrodden among us and a more demanding approach to most others who seek to defend themselves or others.

Everything that happens these days must be viewed as part of some vast social experiment. What does that say about our future?


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