Secondary Navigation

Transcript: Mayor Adams Makes Law Enforcement-Related Announcement With District Attorney Bragg

February 8, 2024

Watch the video here at

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg: Good afternoon. Thank you everyone for joining us. In particular, I want to thank our mayor, Mayor Eric Adams, who I appreciate not just him being here, but his unwavering focus on public safety, making New York City the safest big city in America.

And I also want to thank our partner day in and day out, but also on this important investigation, Chief of Detectives Kenny, Joseph Kenny, a phenomenal partner, so instrumental to all that we do at the New York County District Attorney's Office.

A grand jury has returned an indictment on seven individuals for their roles in an assault on two police officers in Times Square on January 27th. This assault, as it did to many of you, sickened me and outraged me. We all rely on members of the NYPD every day, as I said, to keep us safe and to keep this the safest big city in America.

As a lifelong New Yorker, I do not tolerate attacks on our police officers, and certainly I do not as Manhattan District Attorney. So, let me be clear, plain and simple, the behavior depicted, many of you have seen, is despicable.

As I said, collaboration really is the key word here. Today's indictment follows a painstaking joint investigation between the NYPD and the Manhattan District Attorney's Office involving a number of investigative steps, videos of which you've seen in the public forum, additional video, body worn cameras, interviews, and a number of covert investigative law enforcement steps that we're not at liberty to discuss.

The level of review was meticulous because it must be. It must be because that is the work we do day in and day out to present cases in a court of law. We have to ensure that we identify and charge those individuals who actually committed criminal acts in this matter.

The only thing worse than failing to bring perpetrators to justice would be to ensnare innocent people in the in the criminal justice system.

Based on our thorough investigation, I stand here today confident that we have identified the roles of every person who broke the law and participated in this heinous attack. There's been a lot of information in the public forum, a lot of misinformation, and so I want to take some time.

This may be a little bit different than other press conferences. I really want to walk everyone through the charges here, some video, we have some still footage taken from video, and I want to really focus on each individual's charge role. These are, of course, our allegations.

As many of you know, the five who were arrested last week, Mr. Gomez-Izquiel, Mr. Juarez, Mr. Arocha, Mr. Reveron and Mr. Brito. There are additional people who are charged in the indictment. As to them, since they've not been previously arrested, the indictment is sealed as to their names, but the indictment in total is seven individuals.

The five who have had their charges unsealed all face felony charges. Four face a top charge of assault in the second degree. One faces a top charge of tampering with physical evidence; and as I said, the remaining two charges are [sealed.]

I want to, and if the mayor and the chief will indulge me, walk through. I mean, we all now know the date and the time. The matter begins with the interaction to 220 West 42nd Street around 8:30 p.m. Two police officers instructed the defendants to move along to West 41st Street.

An officer eventually grasps Mr. Brito and moves them toward a building. Brito then attempts to escape and struggles against the officers. And then we move on to what I want to walk you through here. So, we start with Mr. Gomez-Izquiel. You know, these are still photos taken from video. He's charged with grabbing… Or his offense conduct, I should say, is grabbing an officer.

And as you can see depicted here, kicking another officer. The charge is assault in the second degree, two counts, and in addition, obstructing governmental administration. And I want to do this for each of the charged defendants; and you know, these are, of course, our allegations, our charges. We must prove them in a court of law.

Mr. Reveron depicted here in all white, the alleged offense conduct is grabbing, pulling and throwing two officers to the ground. You can see his two hands on the back of one of the officers. Again, these are moments in time taken from the still footage… I mean, taken from the video footage.

The top charges against Mr. Reveron are two counts of assault in the second degree, which is a Class D Felony; and again, a charge of obstructing governmental administration.

Now, I want to move on to two individuals, Mr. Juarez and Mr. Arocha. Neither of them touched either by kicking or pushing or grabbing the officers, but they engaged in other offense conduct. So, I'm going to start there.

This is Mr. Arocha. You can see him a bit off to the side from the officers. The video depicts he is about to or just has struck with his foot a radio camera, one of the radios of one of the officers. He is charged with assault in the second degree and also assault in governmental administration.

I should maybe pause and remind everyone that in addition to a principal liability under our code we also have accessory liability for those who aid and assist.

Mr. Juarez, depicted here in a gray jacket with his hands in his pockets. He watches this, assault from a distance, but eventually gives up this gray jacket that he is wearing to Mr. Brito, another one of the charge defendants.

And then ultimately, Mr. Juarez also took an individual's jacket and put it on himself before eventually discarding that jacket. So, he's charged with a top charge of tampering with physical evidence, and you can see sort of going from this gray to Mr. Brito that sort of stark yellow which many of you've seen on the publicly available evidence.

It probably goes without saying but I will underscore it. You know, this changing of clothes, obviously, is, you know, makes it more challenging to identify people certainly in real time. And we suggest and allege, you know, was not done by coincidence but done in fact to achieve that end of making it more challenging to do these identifications.

So, Mr. Brito is quite literally at the center of this assault. He's the person on publicly available footage who's in the middle. He is the person who is wrestling with and doing other things with the officers on the ground.

He fled the scene and then was arrested on January 31st. And as many of you know, he's been held on bail since February 1st. He is charged with two counts of assault in the second degree, obstructing governmental administration, tampering with physical evidence and hindering prosecution in the third degree.

So, we have two other individuals who are under seal. The general conduct charged is that they assaulted the officers, kicking and grabbing their legs. But since they were not previously charged in the complaint, those names are sealed.

So, I next want to move on and talk about four other individuals, and we'll talk to you about their offense conduct. You'll see some of the challenges in the investigation. These are some of the best photos taken from the video. They are not, you know, frontal close‑ups, so they depict the conduct.

But let me just walk through them. The first individual, red sweatshirt, white hat on the far left, it is our contention that he kicked an officer's head multiple times and grabbed and pulled the collar of another officer. He is unapprehended.

Again, we know from these stills it's very challenging to identify persons, but one of our hopes today, and one of the reasons we're here today, is the totality of this, the aggregate, hopefully will help the public help us to locate individuals.

The second individual shown in the black puffer jacket, his head's turned down with the cap on. Our contention is that he kicked an officer in the head. And again, to underscore, this is some of the most significant conduct we see on the video, and really do want to bring these folks to justice and find them accountable.

The third showing… Well, actually, let me go to, before showing, the pink sneakers, I don't know if you can make it out. I apologize if I'm blocking it. Kicked an officer at least once. The individual charged with this conduct initially is [inaudible], our investigation to him is ongoing. And then coming back to our fourth individual here, he's seen kicking an officer in the foot.

So, in the aggregate, we hope that being here today, wanted just to let you know what the charges are, but also side by side with the charges, with this conduct, very serious charges, conduct to hopefully enlist the public's support.

To that end, let me give a phone number anyone with information can call. It's (212) 335‑9040. I thank you for your patience on these important matters. Our job is to follow the facts, build cases that stand in the court of law so we can get accountability, and we will continue to do so. I'm privileged to do it with great partners in the NYPD and with great leadership from our city. So, I now want to turn the podium over to the mayor of the City of York, Mayor Eric Adams. Thank you, mayor.

Mayor Eric Adams: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much, District Attorney Bragg and the entire, our investigatory apparatus. And throughout the weekend and week, the district attorney kept the NYPD up to date and we communicated several times and it was clear of the complexity of apprehending the individuals involved, and he wanted to get it right.

He was very clear that some of the video surveillance and some of the pictures and some of the switching of clothing not only shows the thoroughness of the investigation but how sophisticated these individuals were that understood that they could switch clothing to throw off the investigators, but that did not happen. Using the investigatory tools that we have, we're able to bring these individuals to justice.

And I want to just reemphasize what the police commissioner stated, because I heard oftentimes he was quoted in his terminology of this apparent crime wave that some of the migrants and asylum seekers that are coming here for wrong things are doing.

The overwhelming number — over 170,000 — they want to finish their next leg of their journey of pursuing the American dream. But there is a small minority that's participating in illegal behavior.

And just as you will have a gang that's participating in illegal behavior, if the Bloods are doing something wrong in the neighborhood, that's a crime wave of gang behavior in that neighborhood, it's not an indicator of all those who live in that neighborhood.

We are going to pursue anyone that commits a crime, if they are longstanding New Yorkers or if they are new arrivals, and that's what we're doing. But in no way should we give any indicator that the overwhelming number of migrants and asylum seekers are law abiding and they're pursuing the American dream.

And this District Attorney's Office and the NYPD will partner with each other to pursue those who break the laws in our city. This was a despicable act. It was not only an attack on the individuals who wore the police uniform, but it was an attack on our symbol of justice. That uniform, that shield is representative of our public safety belief, and that's the prerequisite to our prosperity.

We did our job in making the apprehension. The district attorney is doing his job of doing the prosecuting. And if they're found guilty, and if suitable, the federal government should do their job in deporting them from our city. If you commit a dangerous, violent act, we're all going to do our job. The three levels of government have a role to ensure public safety remains in the city and across our entire nation.

Again, I just really want to commend the DA for their discipline, for how they meticulously went through this case to make sure the individuals who are involved, we are apprehending the right individuals for doing an act that we witnessed all, it was a chilling act that all of us witnessed. Again, thank you so much, DA Bragg.
Question: [Inaudible.]

District Attorney Bragg: Thank you for the question. So, there's been, I think your word was misinformation, there certainly has been misinformation about apprehensions, I think Arizona was one, the people arrested there are not affiliated with this investigation in any way, that's the information we have from Homeland Security.

I mean, I can say one of the individuals in the offense conduct we've been talking about appeared for court in Manhattan on a different matter yesterday, and so we do not have any evidence, you know, significantly of flight as it has been reported. One appeared yesterday and we're looking forward to the next court date in this matter.
Question: [Inaudible.]

District Attorney Bragg: So, I've seen the video I believe you're referring to. It's in the public domain. It's disturbing. We're going to do what we do on all of our matters, right? So, I think there are people speculating using a legal phrase, you use hate crime. We don't make assumptions. We investigate and look at the evidence. So, we'll do what we do in all the other matters, follow the facts.
Question: [Inaudible.]

District Attorney Bragg: So, I'll answer the part directed to me, which is we don't deal in hypotheticals here, right? We deal in evidence, concrete occurrences. We have video, we have what happened. I'm not going to speculate on some counterfactual in the world.

I think we all could agree, we wish the encounter didn't happen. We wish the heinous attack didn't happen. But it did, that's where we are. We brought these charges. We're going to continue to investigate and to get accountability for what did occur.

Chief Joseph Kenny, Chief of Detectives, Police Department: Just as far as whether or not they're asylum seekers, we don't really dive into that. All right? We're looking at them not as asylum seekers, not as somebody here looking to make a new life for themselves. If they're here and they commit crimes, they're going to be treated as criminals, and that's what we're looking at in this case.

Question: [Inaudible.]
District Attorney Bragg: So, again, I'm not going to engage in hypotheticals in terms of sort of what may happen or what may have occurred. I think what is clear is we have a video that's horrifying. It's our obligation to apply the facts to the law as we know it at a point in time. That's what we did. That's what we will continue to do going forward, which is apply the facts to the law as we know it. And I think after this thorough investigation, we now know a lot more than what we knew before.

Question: [Inaudible.]

Mayor Adams: I saw some of the video at the initial response, but again, the investigators and the district attorney is going to thoroughly go through the evidence. And that is what I believe is so important here. What we see on the clips, on social media or news shows that's not the job of the district attorney and Police Department.

They have to pick apart frame by frame. They have to properly identify everyone that's involved and come up with a final conclusion. And that takes a lot of discipline, because there's a lot of incoming of wanting to expedite the wheels of justice. The wheels of justice must move at an appropriate pace.

We don't have the luxury to do what we saw Curtis Sliwa did, see someone on the corner, and based on their ethnicity automatically identified them as a migrant or asylum seeker and not a long‑time Bronx resident. That is not what we can do.

We have to get it right, and that's what we saw. And we should be pleased that the DA's office and the Police Department is not vigilantism. It is the proper investigation, and we're getting the proper results because of that.
Question: [Inaudible.]

Chief of Detectives Kenny: Well, as far as, you know, how the incident starts is, from video, I watched a lot of video of what happened. The precursors are is that a large group of these males, Mr. Brito included, are standing in front of the shelter and they're blocking 42nd Street, forcing people to walk around them. Officers respond, the lieutenant and the police officer in uniform. The crowd is given direction to please disperse, that they're blocking the sidewalk.

Everybody disperses except for Mr. Brito. He turned around and got confrontational with the police officers. He refused the lawful order. They attempted to place him under arrest, and the melee begins with the officers trying to take Mr. Brito into custody, and the next thing you know they're being attacked by 13 other people. So, that's how it started.

As far as the shelters, you know, we interact with the shelters every day. But as far as targeting them by showing photographs, we have the pictures out on social media, we had the pictures out through the regular media, and that's how we're trying to identify them.

Question: [Inaudible.]

Chief of Detectives Kenny: No, just the normal course of detective work. You know, we were putting the posters out. We had the Crimestopper posters out. But as far as targeting shelters in an attempt to identify these perpetrators, no.


Media Contact
(212) 788-2958