Manhattan and Bronx DAs have dropped hundreds of looting cases, data show
Out of 603 arrests, 295 cases have been dismissed by prosecutors
Only 93 reached conviction, mostly on lesser charges with no jail time
Business owners express outrage the criminals who targeted them got off
Prosecutors say they were overworked and didn’t have enough evidence
DA Vance is currently preoccupied preparing criminal case against Trump
Vance’s memo on looting charges stresses ‘equitable treatment’ for suspects
Business owners and residents in New York City are expressing fury at the revelation that prosecutors have dropped looing and rioting charges against hundreds arrested during chaos that swept the city last summer. After 603 were arrested in Manhattan and the Bronx during the most intense days of looting last June, 295 of the cases have been dropped completely, according to NYPD data reported by WNBC-TV on Friday. Now Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr and Bronx DA Darcel D. Clark are facing tough questions about why hundreds walked free after the looting rampage caused an estimated tens of millions in damages. Business owner Jessica Betancourt, whose Bronx eyeglasses shop was destroyed last summer, vented her outrage at the situation. ‘Those numbers, to be honest with you, is disgusting,’ she told the NBC affiliate. ‘They could do it again because they know they won’t get the right punishment.’ In Manhattan, the NYPD data shows there were 485 arrests connected to last summer’s riots, which saw mobs smashing stores and holding a ‘looting dance party’ in SoHo. Of those cases, 222 were later dropped and 73 saw convictions for lesser counts like trespassing, which carries no jail time. Another 40 cases involved juveniles and were sent to family court, and 128 cases remain open. In the Bronx, 118 arrests were made as mobs smashed shops along the borough’s commercial corridors. Since then, the NYPD says District Attorney Clark’s office and the courts have dismissed 73 of those cases, well over half the total. Eighteen Bronx cases remain open and there have been 19 convictions for mostly lesser counts which carry no jail time. Vance and Clark declined interview requests from WNBC, but a source close to the DA’s office said that prosecutors were too overwhelmed to carry forth the looting cases, with a backlog of cases after the pandemic shut courts. Vance’s office has been busy preparing a criminal case against Donald Trump, said to center on allegations of tax, loan and insurance fraud at the Trump Organization.