NEW YORK — A mother whose adult son was stabbed to death in Harlem lashed out at a Democratic congressman on Monday for insulting her intelligence by talking about Donald Trump instead of the city’s crime problem.
“You’re trying to insult me like I’m not aware of what’s going on. I’m fully aware of what’s going on here! That’s why I walked away from the plantation of the Democratic Party,” fumed Madeline Brame, a Black woman whose tragic loss of her son drove her to become the leader of the group Victims Rights Reform.
The target of her wrath was Rep. Dan Goldman, a New York Democrat who attempted to dismiss a House Judiciary Committee field hearing about crime in the city as a “charade” to help Mr. Trump.
Ms. Brame, a witness at the hearing, said the only ones talking about Mr. Trump were the Democrats on the panel.
“Your experiences are devastating,” Mr. Goldman responded, “but the problem is this is a charade to cover up for an abuse of power that [Republians] are going around talking incessantly outside of this hearing about Donald Trump. The purpose of this hearing is to cover up for what they know to be an inappropriate investigation.”
“Can I respond to you, please?” Ms. Brame asked.
“Not right now. I only have 20 seconds. I’m sorry,” the congressman said.
“Don’t insult my intelligence!” Ms. Brame said.
Rep. Wesley Hunt of Texas, a Black Republican, later cheered Ms. Brame in a Twitter post.
“Do you know what the fastest growing demographic of gun ownership is in America? Black women. Why? Because they know that they have to protect themselves in Democrat-run cities where criminals are allowed to roam free,” he said. “And ma’am, you ain’t the only one that’s actually left the plantation. It’s happening all over the country.”
Ms. Brame lost her son Hason Correa, a 35-year-old father of three and Army veteran, to a stabbing attack outside a Harlem apartment building in 2018. She blamed Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for not prosecuting her son’s attackers more aggressively.
Of the four people involved in the killing, two were given plea deals that resulted in sentences of 10 years in prison and 14 months in jail. The two others got sentences of 20 years to life in prison.
Mr. Bragg has been criticized by Republicans for what they call soft-on-crime politics. The criticism grew ferocious after Mr. Bragg charged Mr. Trump with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records when making hush-money payments in 2016. The charges, which are usually misdemeanors but Mr. Bragg elevated to felonies, have been criticized as weak by legal scholars.
The back and forth between Mr. Goldman and Ms. Brame started after she had said that only Democrats were talking about Mr. Trump at the hearing about the city’s crime problems and the failure of Mr. Bragg’s policies.
Mr. Goldman said that Republicans’ failure to mention the former president was “very intentional because they know that they are using taxpayer money to defend a private citizen in his own criminal investigation, and that is an abuse of their power.”
He accused Mr. Trump of directing House Republicans to launch an investigation of Mr. Bragg.
“Now, I’ve asked the chairman and other members of House leadership to tell the American public what kind of collusion they have been doing with Donald Trump, to use the power of this committee and of this Congress to interfere in this prosecution,” Mr. Goldman said.
He said Mr. Bragg’s lawsuit against Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican, will “compel disclosure of the communication and coordination.”
“But the problem is that this is a charade to cover up for an abuse of power, that they are going around talking incessantly outside of this hearing about Donald Trump, and the purpose of this hearing is to cover up for what they know to be an inappropriate investigation,” Mr. Goldman said.