People who stand up to violent criminals resonate with Americans of all walks of life. The courage to fight back against crime is heroic. Everybody believes this today except the woke prosecutors in our midst. 

One of the most notorious woke prosecutors is New York City District Attorney Alvin Bragg. He brought charges against Jose Alba, 61, who stabbed an ex-con and assailant to death at a bodega shop he owned. After an earlier argument with the attacker’s girlfriend about not paying for an item, Alba defended himself when the perpetrator went behind the counter to assault him. 

The New York City bodega owner was stabbed multiple times by the attacker’s girlfriend. Despite the incident being caught on security footage, the district attorney’s quest for a scalp of somebody who dared to defend himself overrode common sense. The girlfriend who stabbed Alba was not charged, according to news reports. Bragg’s office not only charged Alba with murder but even tried to throw excessive bail at him, sending Alba to the notorious Rikers Island jail.

Fortunately for Alba, a judge lowered the bail, allowing a bond to be secured for his release. And eventually, weeks later, given clear evidence in favor of Alba’s actions and public pressure, charges against him were dropped. Still, Bragg’s office sent out the message that they aren’t afraid to criminalize those who act in self-defense. 

The New York Post editorial board summed it up best, writing that “New York is a city turned upside down.” 

The right to self-defense is inherent and something John Locke called a “fundamental right of nature.” Yet, woke prosecutors are increasingly concerned about social engineering over rights or justice. 

“Jose Alba should never have been charged with a crime, but New York city’s anti-self-defense authoritarians are determined to protect criminals over citizens,” says Jordan Stein, Southeast region director for Gun Owners of America. “NYC should take heed of the Supreme Court’s recent decision, which not only affirmed the God-given right of self-defense but also affirmed the right of the people to bear arms in public. All of NYC’s radical — and unconstitutional — gun control should be immediately repealed. New Yorkers should be free to defend themselves with justified, lethal force with the weapons of their choosing.”

Thankfully, North Carolina has better laws than New York City, including stand-your-ground protections that extend to one’s workplace or vehicle. Self-defense protections are generally strong if one has a legal right to be present at a property or place of business. New York has a duty-to-retreat law, meaning somebody is required to try and flee a violent aggressor outside of one’s home. Still, if one legitimately fears for their life and can’t escape — as in the case of Alba — they do have legal protections. Alba’s encounter shows that New York’s law empowers agenda-driven prosecutors, not citizens. If there was no security footage or public outcry over Alba’s charges, one can only wonder how much ruin he would have faced. 

Residents in North Carolina and across the country see what woke prosecutors in increasingly left-wing urban environments want to accomplish. Woke prosecutors, who are attracted to the profession because they decide what and whom to prosecute, often make excuses for criminals. Furthermore, as revealed again in the Alba or Kyle Rittenhouse cases, they criminalize those who try to push back against rising crime if they choose to defend themselves. 

Fortunately, soft prosecutors are paying the price for their pro-crime social engineering. Chesa Boudin, the former district attorney of San Francisco, was recalled and removed from office by voters on July 8. “There are no victimless crimes, and we have to send a strong message that repeat offenders will face the consequences for their actions if they continue to choose a life of crime,” declared Brooke Jenkins. After Boudin’s removal, the San Francisco mayor appointed Jenkins as district attorney. 

Rising crime and lawlessness are bad enough that we shouldn’t have to worry about prosecutors taking the side of criminals. Soft-on-crime policies only lead to death and destruction. The only humor in the rise of a woke criminal justice system is many of the same government officials talking about taking away firearms from law-abiding citizens.  

Ray Nothstine is Carolina Journal opinion editor and Second Amendment research fellow at the John Locke Foundation.