Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced Tuesday that his office will immediately stop prosecuting low-level, non-violent offenses amid the coronavirus outbreak — and will consider freeing jailed suspects who are “vulnerable to infection.”
The offenses that will now get a pass include driving without a license, trespassing and shoplifting, a spokesman for the office said.
“It’s really just a bunch of low-level offenses — basically anything where there’s no kind of violence or no requirement to see a judge,” Brooklyn DA spokesman Oren Yaniv said.
“Really the idea is just to decrease the number of people in the system.”
In a tweet Monday morning, Gonzalez said he is asking public defenders to identify clients who are “vulnerable to infection” and being held behind bars to determine if they should be released.
As for the Brooklyn DA’s office itself, most of its staff are working from home, Yaniv said.