“The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office affirms the intrinsic dignity and worth of all people. We adhere to the guiding principle that no one should be judged by the color of their skin, sexual orientation, gender-identity and expression, disability, national origin, religious belief, source of income, marital status, military status, age, or social status. We do not condone or tolerate racism, discrimination, bigotry, or prejudice on any grounds.
As one of the nation’s leading local prosecutor’s offices, we continue to recognize our profound power and responsibility to implement anti-racist policies that reform our criminal justice system and help build a more just, fair, safe, and equitable society. We strive to do this, in part, by setting policies that reduce racial disparities and collateral consequences in low-level prosecutions and by investing directly in programs that empower our communities of color most harmed by police violence and unnecessary incarceration.
Anti-Black racism and casteism has been embedded for centuries in the very fabric of our society – and, in particular, our justice system. The brutal murder of George Floyd – as well as the police killings of Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and numerous other Black men and women – shocked our consciences, broke our hearts, and made it clear to us that change – real change – to our justice system cannot wait. Moving justice forward requires that we proclaim the undeniable truth in word and deed that Black lives matter.
To undo racism, we must consistently identify it, to dismantle it. Thus, we believe it is our responsibility to confront and reject racism and other forms of discrimination wherever and whenever we encounter them. We also have a duty to reflect upon and challenge our assumptions and understanding of those who are different from us – both as we humbly serve our community and work alongside our colleagues.
We prize the diversity of our large legal and professional staff and are committed to fostering an organizational culture where there is systematic fair treatment of people of all races, resulting in equitable opportunities and outcomes for all. For this reason, we created an Equity and Social Justice Advisory Board that looks like New York City, with people from different neighborhoods; roles in the office; ages and experiences, who live in or work alongside communities of color, to achieve justice for crime survivors and fairness for the accused.
Harlem-native son James Baldwin famously remarked, “Not everything that is faced can be changed but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” In this spirit, we vow to not only face the crisis of racism but to move justice forward with the conscious goal of achieving racial justice in our community and eradicating systemic racism.”