Call for a Moratorium on Broken Windows Prosecutions

5 Boro Defenders
Jan 30, 2017 · 4 min read
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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 a moratorium 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, specifically black people, through mass incarceration. 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 while demanding an end to the criminalization of black New Yorkers from low income communities.

  1. Please call your District Attorneys and ask for a moratorium on broken windows prosecutions!

*Note: If you do have an open case in any of the 5 boroughs, we urge you to wait until your case is closed and consulting with your attorney before making a call. For all callers, you do not have to provide personal contact information if you do not feel comfortable doing so. If you are not a US citizen we urge you not to make a call, without first consulting with an attorney.

Our friends at gave us a routed number so we can track how many calls are being made for #NYCdontprosecute.

Please call these numbers:

Manhattan: Cyrus Vance*: 614–656–1525

Bronx: Darcel D. Clark: 205–490–2655

Queens: Richard Brown: 513–729–6020

Brooklyn: Eric Gonzalez*: 337–660–2661

Staten Island: Michael McMahon: 210–852–2542

*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. If no one picks up, leave a message.]

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.

Feel free to ask the person when the public can expect an official response from the DA’s office.

If you get any push back or have questions, feel free to report your experience here!

2. 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

Like our Facebook page for updates!

UPDATE (2/10/2017): Thank you to our community partners for supporting our call to put pressure on the City’s DA offices. We would not be able to do this without you:

Attorneys of Color Caucus — ACLA, Arab American Association of New York, Audre Lorde Project, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Black Movement-Law Project, Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, The Bronx Defenders, CAAAV (Organizing Asian Communities), Cardozo Criminal Defense Clinic, Immigration Justice Clinic, Cardozo School of Law, Cardozo Minority Law Student Alliance, Coalition To End Broken Windows, Communities United for Police Reform (CPR), Community Voices Heard Action, Community Voices Heard Power, CUNY Defenders Clinic, DRUM — Desis Rising Up & Moving, El Grito, Equality for Flatbush : E4F, FIERCE!, Gay Asian Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY), ICE-FREE NYC, Immigrant Defense Project, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice [JFREJ], JustLeadership USA, Legal Services Staff Association UAW/NOLSW Local 2320, MORE UFT (Movement of Rank and File Educators), Muslim Democratic Club of New York, National Lawyers Guild New York City, New York City Anti-Violence Project, New York Civil Liberties Union — NYCLU, The New York Immigration Coalition, New York State Immigrant Action Fund, NYC Metro Area Law Student Coalition, NYCoRE (New York Collective of Radical Educators), New Yorkers for Social Justice PAC, Peter Cicchino Youth Project (PCYP), Riders Alliance, Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP), Teachdream, Trans Justice Funding Project, UnLocal, Inc., Urban Justice Center, War Resisters League

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