Brooklyn DA says his office won’t prosecute some low-level offenses amid coronavirus outbreak
Low-level offenses that don’t jeopardize public safety will not be prosecuted in Brooklyn amid the coronavirus outbreak, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said Tuesday.
The measure is part of an effort for his office to implement social distancing practices in order to limit potential exposure to the virus for employees and visitors, Gonzales said.
“During this public health emergency, it is imperative that we also protect those who might be exposed to the coronavirus during the procedures of arrest, processing and detention in Central Booking,” he said in a statement posted to Twitter.
— Eric Gonzalez (@BrooklynDA) March 17, 2020
Gonzalez said his office will “immediately decline to prosecute low-level offenses that don’t jeopardize public safety.”
He said he’s also asking defenders to alert his office to clients in pretrial detention who are vulnerable to infection and that he should consider releasing during the outbreak.
There are 644 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York City, according to the city’s health department.
Starting Tuesday, New York City schools are closed.
Bars, restaurants and entertainment venues across the city, and rest of New York state, have also been closed to mitigate the spread of the virus.