‘Drop her charges’: Advocates deliver 20,000 signatures urging DA Bragg to end manslaughter case involving domestic violence survivor

Advocates want DA Bragg to drop domestic violence murder case
Advocates implore District Attorney Alvin Bragg to drop all charges against domestic violence survivor Tracy McCarter on Oct. 24.
Photo by Dean Moses

Supporters of Tracy McCarter — a domestic violence survivor who allegedly killed her husband more than two years ago — rallied Monday outside Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office urging him to drop the charges.

Bragg’s office says it has attempted to work with McCarter, who was charged by then-DA Cy Vance’s office in March 2020 for stabbing her husband after he allegedly threatened her life in a drunken rage. With McCarter’s trial set to take place on Nov. 28 of this year, supporters of the nurse are accusing Bragg of not keeping a campaign promise in which he pledged to support McCarter — an argument that Bragg’s office refuted.

Gathering at Foley Square, various social justice groups protested against the district attorney and demanded the office drop all charges while also unveiling some 20,000 signatures signed to a petition. 

Advocates gathered at Foley Square to demand DA Bragg drop charges against Tracy McCarter. Photo by Dean Moses
Advocates implore District Attorney Alvin Bragg to drop all charges against domestic violence survivor Tracy McCarter on Oct. 24. Photo by Dean Moses

“Tracy McCarter is a Black woman. She’s a mother, she’s a grandmother–she’s a friend. She’s a wonderful individual who was being prosecuted for simply surviving, for having the audacity to protect her life and coming out of that situation alive and that is something that should be celebrated,” said Samah Sisay of Survived and Punished, who is also a member of McCarter’s legal defense. “They can choose to not prosecute Tracy; however, they’re continuing to pursue a trial.”

According to the Manhattan DA’s office, the situation isn’t so cut and dry.

On May 25, 2022, the DA offered McCarter a plea agreement whereupon she would plead guilty to second-degree charges of manslaughter and criminal menacing; in return, McCarter would pursue PTSD treatment for a year, and upon her completion, and if not re-arrested, the manslaughter conviction would be dismissed.  

According to information obtained from DA Bragg’s office, the plea was to be an Alford plea, where the defendant pleads guilty but maintains a claim that they are innocent. It was court that indicated it would not accept the proposed plea. 

“The dignity and wellbeing of survivors is at the center of the Office’s work, and the Special Victims Division leadership supervising this case has deep experience in survivor-centered and trauma-informed practice. Because this case is open and pending, we will have to decline to comment,” a spokesperson for the Manhattan District Attorney’s office said in a statement.

Photo by Dean Moses

Additionally, over the summer the DA’s office submitted an oral and written motion to dismiss the indictment and reduce the charge of first-degree manslaughter; McCarter submitted a response joining this motion, but the judge made a decision to deny the dismissal.

Those at the rally feel that the DA’s office has shifted the blame onto the court for not dismissing the case, when advocates claim that Bragg has the ability to do more to end McCarter’s trial.

Signs read, “Drop her charges.” Photo by Dean Moses