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Three Queens Councilmembers Demand Bragg to Drop Murder Charge Against Manhattan Bodega Worker

Jose Alba and Austin Simon (Photo via Blue Moon Convenience Store)

July 11, 2022 By Christian Murray

Three elected officials from Queens have signed on to a letter calling on Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to drop the murder charge filed against a bodega worker who fatally stabbed a man in what they say was self-defense.

Council Members Bob Holden, Vickie Paladino and Joann Ariola are among the seven councilmembers who have sent Bragg a joint letter calling for the murder charge to be dropped.

“We urge you to drop all charges against Jose Alba, “the letter reads. “The fact that you are even prosecuting Mr. Alba reveals how your perverse sense of justice not only protects violent criminals, but actively seeks to destroy the lives of crime victims”

The letter is in support of Alba, 61, who allegedly stabbed Austin Simon, 35, multiple times in the neck after he was attacked while working at the Blue Moon Convenience Store on Broadway, near 139th Street around 11 p.m. on July 1.

The incident, which is partially caught on tape, shows Simon go behind the counter and then push Alba backwards toward the floor. A struggle ensued and Alba allegedly stabbed Simon to death. He was then charged with second degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon.

Alba was attacked following an argument over a bag of chips. Simon’s girlfriend was looking to buy chips for her child but was unable to pay for them. A dispute then ensued.

“Footage of the attack shows Austin Simon, who has a lengthy criminal record and is currently on parole for assaulting a cop, going behind the bodega counter and attacking Mr. Alba,” the letter reads.

The letter continues: “Despite having no criminal record and video showing Mr. Alba acting in self-defense, you charged him with second-degree murder and asked the court to hold him on $500,000 bail…. This approach to justice makes most New Yorkers think the city is on a self-destructive path to oblivion.”

After public outrage, Alba’s bond was lowered to $50,000 and he was let go after posting the required 10 percent.

The Queens lawmakers—along with councilmembers David Carr (R-Staten Island), Kalman Yeger (D-Brooklyn), Inna Vernikov (R-Brooklyn) and Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island)—wrote that the case was “particularly jarring,” arguing that Bragg routinely drops charges and waives bail for violent offenders.

“You failed to request a warrant to confiscate a gun used in an armed robbery by serial offender Tyrell Rodgers,” the letter reads. “He later allegedly used that same gun to kill a man. When Hason Correa, a military veteran and married father of three, was beaten and stabbed to death, you gave one assailant only a year in prison and only seven years to another defendant as part of a plea deal.”

The councilmembers said that Braggs approach to criminal justice is not a policy of restorative justice or deincarceration but instead rewarding the guilty and punishing the innocent.

The lawmakers called for Alba’s immediate release. “Please allow common sense to prevail over ideology and recognize that Mr. Alba acted in self-defense.”

Joint CM Letter to Alvin Bragg Re Jose Alba July 7 2022 by Queens Post on Scribd

email the author: [email protected]

119 Comments

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Tamra

Hundreds of thousands of New York City residents live in so-called food deserts.

They’re low-income areas — usually Black and Hispanic neighborhoods — without large supermarkets and lacking many options for healthy, affordable food. Areas long-considered food deserts include Bedford-Stuyvesant and Brownsville, Brooklyn, the South Bronx and parts of Harlem. https://www.google.com/amp/s/pix11.com/news/created-equal/why-food-deserts-persist-in-low-income-nyc-neighborhoods/amp/

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Jim

And how many of those residents go around attacking bodega workers over a bag of chips?

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Paul Kersey

EBT cards should not be used to pay for junk food like potato chips. The obesity epidemic is bad enough without the taxpayers subsidizing it.

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Cindy

Fruits and vegetables are so expensive at the market and go bad within a day or two. Organic products are also very unaffordable. I purchased a whole watermelon for 15 dollars and it went straight to the garbage after i sliced it open. Parts of it looked brown and it smelled bad. Markets do not accept returns. All children including adults snack. Whole wheat low salt or low sugar are the better option when it comes to buying snacks or treats. But they also are more expensive because they are deemed healthier.

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Helena

Unless you like mango bananas or avocado a lot of these places do not offer many other healthy options.

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Bertha

All of this because a mother did not have enough money to buy something for her child to eat. Please be aware that NYC free summer meals program for children 18 and younger. Parents and children should have access to food.
“The meals are being distributed at over 300 locations throughout the city, including public schools, community pool centers and parks, according to the city. A full list of 2022 summer meal locations can be found on the NYCDOE’s website, by texting NYC Food to 304-304, or by calling 311.”
https://www.schools.nyc.gov/school-life/food/summer-meals

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George Floydizzle

All this cause the homie rocking an expensive shirt couldn’t keep their cool or pay $3 😆

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Anonymous

All this was because an entitled lowlife couldn’t get something for free, so she ordered her baby daddy to attack a hardworking store clerk. This had nothing to do with a child not having access to food.

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Maria J

You all are missing one important point that could of prevented this murder. “Alba grabbed a bag of chips out of her 10-year-old daughter’s hands after the mother couldn’t pay for it because her debit card was declined.” There is a reason most stores do not physically intervene when someone can not pay for something or is shoplifting. Cops tell store employees and the public the same thing. Alba should of asked her to leave it on the counter. I was at a local store and did not have enough money to pay for groceries and asked the cashier if she could remove 2-3 items. The cashier made such a scene. She began mumbling to herself, rolling her eyes and banging my items that I asked her to remove. She even grabbed a plastic vegetable bag out of my hands and I was in shock. I told her the bag was empty. She began screaming for a manager to approve the reduced transaction. I was trying to hold back tears. People treat you like trash if you are poor in this city. I am lucky my husband was not with me. If he saw what was happening he would of cursed her out and shouted at her which may have led to something else. Please be kind or respectful when someone does not have enough.

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Sara Ross

You seem to be missing the point that the dumbass wearing an Amiri shirt could have either paid the money for the stupid bag of chips or not physically escalate the situation.

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David

The woman knew what was on debit card. Nothing. Nice tale. Violence is a way of life with some people. Mr. Simon has been in and out of prison for assaulting others.

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Trish

Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him. Amen.

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Wrong story.

An I hope your next bacon egg and cheese is cut with a spoon since you think knives are the problem.

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She knew.

Chips aren’t sold/given out through nycdoe meals. Kids would rather fo hungry than eat the food our mayor says is edible.

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Bertha

All food items and drinks excluding alcohol are covered by SNAP including snacks and soft drinks.

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Reality Bites

so these people use their EBT card thru the SNAP program and buy junk food and soda on the taxpayers dime….then they have much higher diabetes rates and covid comes along and kills them at a higher rate….then they cry systemic racism and pretend to be the victims just to get even more free money….gotcha

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Nick

You notice how all the chips and junk food shelves are practically empty this summer since every nyc public school student got a $ 375 voucher for food. Not sure if all markets are like this. I live by a market that homeless families use.

Then they get

Free healthcare and first crack at the ER at Lincoln hospital.

Tom

And if the grocery stores close in these troubled areas they will complain that it is racists lol. Just do what they did during the pandemic for restaurants..no indoor shopping and just place your order through a bullet proof window/slot.

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Lisa

Demand the store owner lower their prices? Do you think he gets the food for free? He’s working to earn a living.

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Concerned Citizen

But that goes against the Ardilla’s and Caban’s of the progressive echo chamber…the killer was just a poor “misunderstood” soul who wanted a loaf of bread…

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Charles

The bigger problem is that had this case not got so much publicity, the elderly man would of been interviewed by the cops and then released and got away with murder like so many other murders of black men. Braggs is doing his job.

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But ONLY

Black lives matter?

Bodega worker’s lives don’t?

It’s not about color anymore it’s about content of character. The black “victim” and his girlfriend were willing to kill for a bag of chips!!! That’s the content of character here!!!

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old as dirt

the problem is he is doing his job selectively..how many has he refused to prosecute? now hes some big macho man going after an old man defending himself

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Sleepy Joe

The guy kept coming at him. What did you expect him to do? hit him once and expect the guy to stop attacking him?

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Olly

Bragg said on his campaign website. “My dad had an illegal gun not because he liked guns or because he was ‘dangerous’; he had a gun because of crime in the neighborhood.” Well why is he prosecuting Jose Alba for defending himself? Is it because of who died and who survived the attack?

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MG

An example of systematic racism and racism black men face in this country. I doubt Alba would of stabbed him to death if Simon was Latino or White.

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Anonymous

I know he wouldn’t have stabbed him if he had not come behind the counter and physically assaulted Mr. Alba. Live like a perp, die like a perp.

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When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong

Austin Simon was out on an evening stroll with his family. His girlfriend went into the bodega to buy some chips for her daughter while he waited outside. After a few minutes she came running out complaining that the bodega worker took the bag of chips she was unable to buy. Austin a devoted family man to his nine children could have given her $3 or encouraged her to calm down and go somewhere else for food. Instead sporting his new Amiri shirt Austin waltzed inside the store and decided to keep it real.

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Pablo

My family owned a convenience store that they built from the ground up. I’m glad they sold it after 20 years. I can’t imagine what could happen to my mom and dad if they were robbed at gun point. You can’t protect yourself anymore these days. Its like the law wants you to get robbed and assaulted.

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Anonymous

Call 911 while a convicted felon is in the process of beating you and trying to drag you out from behind the counter? Great plan.

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Nicky

Elections have consequences and you’re reaping yours! Thankful to be living in LI and renting my place in Astoria.

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justsaying

How many others were not fortunate enough to have had video evidence? Numerous black and brown people are being locked up or killed when they were defending themselves against cops and racists.

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Jill

I’m torn on this case. The first hit from the old man made sense to me but the others did not. It seems he used excess force. Looks like murder to me. Lock him up!

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So

Your not really torn since you want him locked up for ridding the world of this Amish man.

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Concerned Citizen

Why? The business owner owes nothing to people who can’t afford their products.

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Mark

I agree with the charge. Mister Alba ended up killing Simon with a knife. Stabbed him more than once. Let our justice system handle this. If you get into a shouting match during a road rage incident or a scuffle on the subway.. does that give you the right to take out a knife or pull out a gun because you were pushed and kill them? If someone is resisting arrest and pushing is it ok for a cop to kill them with a weapon? What about a fight in school? Actions have consequences. If someone snatched something out of my child’s hands i would be upset also. Should i be killed for shouting at someone at a place of business?

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Smh

Wow. The liberal progressive arguments are getting dumber and dumber. Such silly hypotheticals that have no relation to the actual story. But there is truth to your post sir or madame or whatever you identify as. Actions do have consequences. But there are always two sides of the story. Simon’s actions resulted in his death.

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David

Mark – Simon aggressively shouted at and assaulted Mr. Alba in his place of business all while trespassing behind the counter. I would acquit Mr. Alba.

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Ugh

That was self defense. Killed a man who wanted to kill him. Call 911, really? As he’s being assaulted?? More financial assistant to the woman? How about getting a job for a change? There’s help wanted signs posted everywhere.

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A Normal Person

Those things aren’t the same. It’s not like a road rage incident, it’s more like someone forcing themself into your car. Self defense because you think your life is in danger wouldn’t be out of line.

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Animals!

That hood rat got her man killed. She runs to her man to get him to go there and f him up knowing that he is on parole. Why? because her ebt card was declined over chips. Hood rat should be charged for inciting violence and for assault with a deadly weapon. she lied to the police and said she didn’t stab Mr. Alba the video proves differently.

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Sarah

“Alba was attacked following an argument over a bag of chips. Simon’s girlfriend was looking to buy chips for her child but was unable to pay for them. A dispute then ensued.” Spare me the sob story.

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Liberalism is a personality disorder

Liberals have always had an inverted, Bizarro World sense of morality. They show sympathy to criminals that normal, sensible people show to the victims.

And they show contempt for the victims that decent human beings reserve for criminals.

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Self-defense

Alvin Bragg is a terrible person and awful district attorney. Hochul must fire him but she does not have the guts.
Like most libs, he hates crime victims and his sympathies are with the criminals.

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Louisa

“ he hates crime victims and his sympathies are with the criminals.” Stupid comment. Really stupid.

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old as dirt

while i agree, the sad fact is Bragg made no secret of his progressive proclivities when he was running for office…he got voted in anyway maybe cause they didnt know anything about it or didnt care enough to vote –

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Call them out

Bragg must resign
He’s pro criminal and does not believe in self defense
Typical left winger
We need a recall mechanism

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Andi

This is disgusting, there is a felon, a ex-prisoner who is threatening his life, so he protected himself and now he’s being charged? How does that even make sense?

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Anonymous

and to make matters worse it was the girlfriend who had a knife in her hand and stabbed the worker too and it shows it in all of the photos

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Nothing to see

Bragg hates Hispanics
I hope my Dominican brothers are realizing this
Many of them are small business owners

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MaryBeth

This is why I shop online. And some of these small storea do not allow pets and are rude to you. My neighborhood even told me that the small store the block sells drugs.

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Seth

Just put up a bunch of large vending machines in certain neighborhoods. Bring back the auto-mat!!

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Emily

He stabbed an unarmed man to death. He should absolutely be charged with murder!

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Gullible Republicans believe myths fairytales and conspiracy theories

Emily – He stabbed a man who was trespassing and assaulting him. You almost got it.

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Emily.... we all know your real name is Franshiqua

Your love for the Amish is one thing but you not seeing that this Amish dude was doing what they do best which is robbing, threatening and assaulting (raping too but that’s not relevant to this situation).

But s5il… black lives matter.

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Cherry

IDK what the law is on this but looks like murder to me. Simon was all wrong for pressing and assaulting the worker 100 percent! However the degree of retaliation is disputable imo. I dont think the clerk was in enough danger to warrant that outcome. I have seen homeless and mentally ill people screaming and harassing others on the subway daily and no one gets killed. If a cop shot him for charging and pushing a cop the cop would of been charged and there would be protests and calls to defund the police again.

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Celeste

It’s a sad situation, but that young man shouldn’t of walked behind the counter. I’m sure his intent was not to hurt the worker, but he was angry about the chips. Them Convenience store clerks and Chinese take out/Fried Chicken/Burger joints will go after you for a penny. Maybe we should give out more EBT so this doesnt happen again.

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Smh

More free money to people who don’t work. Excellent idea Celeste. Enable more entitlement!!!

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Anon

“I’m sure his intent was not to hurt the worker”
What did you see in the video that would possibly give you the idea that there was no intent to hurt the worker?

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Jen

Poor man I wonder who’s taking care off his family now I’m more than sure they have bills to pay I hope his family gets some help soon at least to cover the funeral expenses 🙏

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Anonymous

His “girl” was trying to buy chips with an EBT card, so to answers your question. We are all taking care of his family, same as before he died.

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What's the difference between an Amish man and a pizza.

A pizza can feed a family of four.

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Juanita

I feel so sad for these workers they live in a city that’s extremely violent and at the same time they’re told by the law they cannot protect themselves and if you do you could be potentially prosecuted. My brother in law has been robbed twice this year coming home from working as a delivery man. The police do not care and just tell him not to carry cash in his pockets next time.

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Thema

Old man chose his fate. Should of had sympathy for poor folks and some restraint. Bet if the customer was latin or white the worker wouldnt of snatched the chips. Now he needs to face the consequences for killing someone. These bodega workers are always on the prowl especially when a black man walks in. RIP Austin!

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Sleepy Joe

When the guy owned his own store he use to give food to people when they didnt have enough money and said they could pay him back next time. Stop putting race into things

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Devan

Just seems a bit of an excessive reaction for a shoving match. We call out people for stupidly pulling knives and guns out during 1 on 1 fights because they are getting their ass kicked, don’t see how this is much different. Didnt even see a single punch thrown! Idk. Tough one. Probably get a pass from me because of his old age. But I would boycott the store.

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Smh

This isn’t a street fight you idiot. The ghetto girlfriend got her criminal boyfriend to F$&@ him up. Listen to the audio. She instigated the incident and had no charges on her and even stabbed the old man. Boycott your brain for your ghetto mentality.

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Jim Magee

You can’t just drop the charge. The DA has a dead body and a witness. You have to put the case before the Grand Jury and let them blow out the charge when they watch the video and hear from Mr. Alba.

Bragg is actually doing Alba a favor maintaining the charge since it is unlikely that you will find a Grand Jury that will indict him on murder.

These politicians probably don’t know that though.

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Showing true colors

Speaking of politicians outvpops Jim Magee
Why did Bragg ask for one half million dollar bail and nothing for the women who stabbed the old man ? Do you hate Hispanics ?

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Gardens Watcher

Clearly everyone involved was not having their best day and deserves a break.

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Jess

Wearing an Amiri shirt and hopping the corner store counter cause your gfs ebt card declined a bag of chips is crazy. Now he dead over chips, even crazier. Lock Alba up for life!

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Carey

Just read a piece in the NY times that says: A 35-year-old man, Austin Simon, went behind the counter to confront a bodega employee, demanding an apology after the card was declined and the worker grabbed the chips from the hands of the 10-year-old daughter of Mr. Simon’s girlfriend. Also, “There is also a “duty to retreat” in New York’s law, which is different from some states that have “stand your ground” laws, Professor Shakhnevich noted. If a person in New York has a way out of a situation, they must take it, he said.” A jury will find Alba guilty I hope.

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Gullible Republicans believe in myths fairytales and conspiracy theories

@Carey- Thanks for the link. Talk about having a distorted or warped view of issues. To quote the perps relatives from the article: “He spent time in prison for assault but told relatives that his most recent sentence would be his last because he wanted to focus on his children, Ms. Simon said.” Most recent “sentence”. “Ms. Simon portrayed her cousin as a father who was straightening out his life” and “he died trying to protect somebody he cared about,” Ms. Simon said.,This twisted thinking is a great deal of the problem. A man with a history of assaulting people and did time for assaults on multiple occasions, trespasses to a restricted part of the store, aggressively. Ms. Simon said he was defending someone who wasn’t even in danger, they had left the store and returned.You don’t need a weapon to beat an old man to death. Mr. Alba saved himself from a person with a criminal history of assaulting people and the perps relatives are outraged Mr. Alba didn’t sit back and just take it.

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Stand your ground

Carey go blank yourself
The girlfriend of Simon stabbed the old man
You sound like you like violent criminals

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Mac

Carey- You missed the part of your article where the law professor said that there was no place for Mr. Alba to retreat to behind the counter, Alba was cornered.

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Yerac

Wearing a $300 shirt the dude couldn’t have just given the guy $3 for the bag of chips?

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Jeff

New York is run by a bunch of idiots. That’s why we are all moving to Florida. Good riddance.

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Gullible Republicans believe myths fairytales and conspiracy theories

Jeff- NYC gained the equivalent of the population of Miami since the 2010 US Census. People go to Florida because it’s cheap. You get what you pay for. Enjoy your relocation.

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Olivia

Just some Queens politicians trying to make some political gain among the growing number of Hispanics in Queens. If you do not believe me go ask go ask Mexicans, DRs, PRs, Guatamalans, Salvadorans, etc. neighbors what they think.

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Jacob

Some takes from the video… why that clerk leave his door wide open? He is supposed to lock that door, especially if he knows trouble is coming, and he has alot of cash behind the counter. Stab more than twice crosses that fine line between defense and manslaughter. That was a big ole knife, one stab would have done tha job. The light skinned man should be jailed for life!

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Rita

Good thing the crazed man didn’t have a GUN though! He could’ve SHOT the man to death instead of stabbing him!

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Louis

Good thing Alba is non white. It would of turned into a race issue by the media and officials. Not that its not now. But no one wants to write or talk about relations among minorities. My latino friends are very vocal about this matter. But no one wants to publish what they say about other certain minorities.

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NY is Paradise for Criminals

This is the same DA that releases shoplifters over and over again, and now on a very evident self-defense case, he wants to be tough with the wrong guy. The usual so called “progressive” defending criminals over citizens.

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Agreed, guns laws are too lax

As the article says they “failed to request a warrant to confiscate a gun used in an armed robbery by a serial offender” who “later allegedly used that same gun to kill a man.” Thanks for agreeing that we stricter gun laws and enforcement could have saved lives!

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Save the robots

Yeah isn’t the same DA who said he didn’t want to pursue the Trumps in their fraud cases.

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Anonymous

What is worse is that many of “shoplifters” that he releases without bail actually committed robberies, not petit larceny. Their crimes used force or the threat of force. They should often have been charged with felonies regardless of the value of what they stole.

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