Trump visits Harlem bodega to mark second day of hush money trial - and complains about crime

The former president made a stop at a store where the owner stabbed a would-be robber in self-defence

Mike Bedigan
Wednesday 17 April 2024 08:45 BST
Trump visits Manhattan bodega after day in court

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

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Donald Trump left court on Tuesday following his second court appearance of the week to pay a visit to a Manhattan bodega that found itself at the centre of a high-profile crime.

The former president stopped by the Sanaa Convenient Store, formerly known as the Blue Moon Convenient Store, in Harlem, where clerk Jose Alba stabbed an ex-con to death in self-defence two years ago.

The case sparked widespread outrage after Mr Alba was initially charged with murder and the case was later dismissed following a request by New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg. – the very man now leading the prosecution of Mr Trump on 34 counts of falsifying business records.

Following his second day in court, Donald Trump made a stop at a Harlem bodega, where a clerk stabbed an ex-con to death in self-defense in 2022
Following his second day in court, Donald Trump made a stop at a Harlem bodega, where a clerk stabbed an ex-con to death in self-defense in 2022 (AP)

Mr Trump arrived to meet with the store’s co-owner Maad Ahmed and small business advocate Francisco Marte, and was met with cheers and chants of “USA! USA!” and “four more years!” from a group of supporters outside.

“This is a very exciting time for me because the Bodegas Association invited me – I respect them and they respect me. They want law and order, they have a lot of crime, tremendous crime, their stores are being robbed,” Mr Trump told reporters.

He continued: “There’s never been a judge so conflicted as this [in this case], it’s ridiculous. There’s no crime.

Former president Donald Trump, left, visited the bodega where Jose Alba (not pictured), the store's former owner, was attacked in New York
Former president Donald Trump, left, visited the bodega where Jose Alba (not pictured), the store's former owner, was attacked in New York (AP)

“You know where the crime is? In the bodegas... These people have to be treated fairly, the bodegas, every week they’re being robbed two or three times, it’s crazy. And you know what, the police can do it, they can stop it but they have to be allowed to do their job.”

He added that New York had gotten “bad in the last few years” and he promised to “straighten out” the city, if he returned to the White House.

Referencing Mr Bragg, who Mr Trump says campaigned for DA on the promise he would “get Trump”, the former president said: “He goes after guys like Trump who did nothing wrong.

“They know there are hundreds of murders all over the city, they know who they are, they don’t pick them up, they go after Trump.”

Jury selection will continue in Mr Trump’s criminal trial on Thursday. He told reporters that he believed “any juror who is fair” would be an ideal candidate to sit on his jury.

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