(NewsNation) — Members of the United Bodegas of America, who attended the meeting with Manhattan’s District Attorney Alvin Bragg Tuesday, said Bragg listened closely to their questions and assured them he is considering dropping the second-degree murder charge against 61-year-old Jose Alba.
But it’s not a decision Brigg said he will be rushed into making. Members said they will patiently wait for the D.A.’s decision.
The store surveillance video has been the most compelling piece of evidence that many believe works in Alba’s favor. The video showed Alba stabbing 35-year-old Austin Simon repeatedly.
Simon’s girlfriend had been in the store minutes before the stabbing trying to buy some chips, but her card was declined.
Simon, was on parole after serving prison time for assaulting an officer at the time of the bodega stabbing.
The girlfriend and Alba exchanged words. She then left the store, but came back with her boyfriend moments later.
In the video, the man is then seen going after Alba behind the counter and attacking him. After being pushed down and grabbed by the neck, Alba picked up a knife and stabbed the man in his neck until he collapsed.
Alba’s supporters said he was defending himself and should not be charged with murder.
Fernando Mateo, founder of United Bodegas of America, attended the meeting Tuesday. Mateo has been a consistent advocate for Alba’s freedom.
“Jose Alba has our full support,” Mateo said during a press conference. “The city of New York needs more people like Jose Alba.”
Tuesday night, Mateo joined NewsNation’s evening program “Banfield” with host Ashley Banfield, where he discussed the meeting in further detail:
“So, I said, ‘do you mean, or you could drop the charges,’ and he said if there’s no evidence of him murdering this man, we’ll drop the charges. I said, ‘listen, we could all see what happened in the video. You see the same thing the whole world is seeing, what’s making it so difficult?’ He said that he’s getting evidence every day, new evidence is coming in everyday and he’s examining it.”Fernando Mateo on “banfield”
The most recent video that was released Monday shows Austin Simon’s girlfriend stabbing Jose Alba on his arm, but she has not yet been charged.
Mateo said they did not talk much with the D.A. about why she isn’t charged because for now they want to keep the focus on getting the murder charge against Alba dropped.
However, when New York City Mayor Eric Adams was asked about the girlfriend not being charged during a news conference Tuesday, he said justice should be served, implying she should be charged.