A few weeks ago the internet was abuzz with opinions when bodega worker in Harlem was arrested for killing a man who jumped behind the counter and assaulted him while he was working. Jose Alba was booked on murder charges and while most felt that he was simply defending himself, others felt he took things too far.
Now the Gothamist is reporting that Manhattan DA, Alvin Bragg has decided to drop the charges after reviewing the available evidence including audio and surveillance videos that was not available to the public.
“Following an investigation, the People have determined that we cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was not justified in his use of deadly physical force,” according to a motion filed by Bragg’s office. “As such, the People will not be presenting the case to a Grand Jury and for the reasons provided in the attached memorandum, hereby move to dismiss the complaint.”
Interestingly enough Bragg is the same man who caused two New York prosecutors to resign after he refused to indict Donald Trump on criminal charges even though they felt the evidence was strong enough to warrant such actions.
Regardless, many are relieved that Bragg decided to let Alba off the hook for the July 1st incident that resulted in the death of 35-year-old Austin Simon. Apparently Simon jumped over the counter and shoved Alba into the wall because he felt that Alba disrespected his girlfriend’s 10-year-old daughter earlier that day. According to NY1, Alba had apparently snatched some snacks out of the hand of a 10-year-old girl which led to her mother screaming on the bodega worker, knocking merchandise off the counter, and promising that her boyfriend would return to handle the situation.
That’s when things took a turn for the worse.
Simon entered the store and charged Alba behind the counter, according to the district attorney’s office, and said he wanted the bodega worker to apologize to the 10-year-old.
“I don’t want a problem, papa,” Alba could be heard saying in surveillance video, according to the motion.
“With Simon holding him by the collar and forcibly pushing him out, Alba grabbed a knife from a shelf beside the counter and repeatedly stabbed Simon as they struggled,” Sigall wrote.
Simon was stabbed 6 times and didn’t survive. While Jose Alba was arrested and charged with murder, prosecutors who reviewed the evidence felt that Alba had a case for “justifiable and not criminal” use of deadly force.
For weeks people had been calling Alba’s actions self-defense and now it seems like the Manhattan DA agrees.
NY Mayor Eric Adams applauded the decision saying “They did a thorough investigation, and they made a determination of, my understanding, the charges were dropped. And this happens sometimes in cases. The preliminary arrest after review, decisions are made, and so I think this case, we had an innocent hardworking New Yorker that was doing his job, and someone was extremely aggressive towards him, and I believe after the DA’s review, the DA in my opinion made the right decision.”
What do y’all think? Should Jose Alba have been charged with murder or was it self-defense? Let us know in the comment section below.
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