Donald Trump goes from court to Harlem bodega where Jose Alba killed ex-con, people chant ‘four more years’ - Hindustan Times
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Donald Trump goes from court to Harlem bodega where Jose Alba killed ex-con, people chant ‘four more years’

BySumanti Sen
Apr 17, 2024 09:55 AM IST

From a Manhattan courtroom, Donald Trump on Tuesday, April 16, visited a bodega where clerk Jose Alba stabbed a former con to death in self defence

From a Manhattan courtroom, former president Donald Trump on Tuesday, April 16, visited a bodega where clerk Jose Alba stabbed a former con to death in self defence two years ago. The case prompted outrage when Alba was initially charged with murder. The murder charges were later dropped.

Former president Donald Trump goes from court to Harlem bodega where Jose Alba killed ex-con (Photo by SPENCER PLATT / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)(Getty Images via AFP)
Former president Donald Trump goes from court to Harlem bodega where Jose Alba killed ex-con (Photo by SPENCER PLATT / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)(Getty Images via AFP)

Trump stopped by the Harlem store named Sanaa Convenient Store, previously known as the Blue Moon Convenient Store, to meet Maad Ahmed, the co-owner of the store. He also met small business advocate Francisco Marte. People chanted “four more years.”

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“You should be allowed to have a gun. If you had a gun, you’d never get robbed, you’d never get robbed, that would be the end of it,” Trump told the bodega workers, according to New York Post.

Ahmed revealed that the store still grapples with crime. “What do you do? Isn’t it crazy? Is it almost a way of doing business, you getting robbed?” Trump asked.

Ahmed said that he believes criminals “would respect the store” if she owned a firearm and kept it with him. He also said that if Trump suggests, he would apply for one.

However, Rich Cardinale, Alba’s attorney, told Trump that having and using a weapon could land the workers in the same situation Alba was in. “If you use a gun and you’re defending yourself lawfully, you will go to jail,” Cardinale said.

In 2022, Alba stabbed ex-con Austin Simon to death in self defence after he was cornered following a dispute over chips. Despite the initial murder charges, the DA’s office eventually dropped them as there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that Alba “was not justified in his use of deadly physical force.”

‘We need Donald Trump back in the White House’

Meanwhile, Ahmed told New York Post that although he has never voted because he had been working, this time he has planned to. “We need Donald Trump back in the White House because he’s a strong guy,” he said. Ahmed, 36, is an immigrant from Yemen and a US citizen.

“What happened to Jose was very hard for me. Jose was defending himself from the guy who came behind the counter. All for $1 worth of chips,” he added.

Trump said that he would allow the NYPD to “do their jobs,” on being asked how he would make bodegas safer. “Every week they’re being robbed two or three times, it’s crazy. You know what? The police can stop it but they have to be allowed to do their job,” Trump said.

“You have to stop crime and we’re going to let the police do their job. They have to be given back their authority. We’re making a big play New York. I love this city and it’s gotten so bad in the last three years, four years, and we’re going to straighten New York out,” he added.

This visit was the ex-president’s first campaign appearance since the beginning of his hush money trial. With reference to his own criminal trial, he said at the store that the real crime was taking place in bodegas. He pinned the blame on Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Alvin Bragg does nothing, he goes after guys like Trump who did nothing wrong. Violent killers and murderers … There are hundreds of murderers all over the city, they know who they are, and they don’t pick them up. They go after Trump,” he said.

Marte, who is the president of New York’s Bodega and Small Business Association, expressed his gratitude for Trump’s support. “This store was where the fight against the liberal laws started, when they were charging Jose Alba with murder for defending himself. The fight against those liberals started here,” he said.

The organisation said in a statement that Trump’s visit “highlights just how much we have lost the way in New York.” It said this will raise hope that there would be stricter criminal laws in the future.

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