NYC bodega groups split on arming clerks after meeting with Manhattan DA

A bodega association calling for the dismissal of murder charges against a clerk said on Tuesday that it does not believe the solution to bodega safety is arming store owners with guns.

The statement from the Yemeni American Merchants Association Tuesday night contradicts comments from the United Bodegas of America following a joint meeting

earlier that day with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who has been facing criticism over murder charges against Jose Alba, a bodega worker in upper Manhattan.

Alba has been accused of fatally stabbing a person in early July who appears to have accosted him behind the counter in surveillance footage — evidence that critics of the charges have clung to as demonstrating clear act of self-defense.

DA spokesperson Doug Cohen referred Gothamist to an earlier statement following the meeting, saying

"D.A. Bragg expressed support for New York's strong gun laws, and emphasized that more guns in our communities make us less safe."

The Supreme Court, meanwhile, delivered a major blow to New York's restrictive gun laws in June, declaring the state's concealed carry law unconstitutional and furthering a flurry to legislate new protections at the state level.

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