City Hall News: The Education of Cyrus Vance Jr.

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The library was full of guns.

Leather-bound law volumes, potted plants, a well-trod carpet—in the middle of this understated display of institutional sobriety lay 13 semiautomatic weapons on a folding card table.

Cyrus Vance Jr., in a dark pinstriped suit and tortoiseshell glasses, stood behind a podium next to the gun display, shoulder-to-shoulder with a pack of black-clad, thick-necked cops and investigators. —

“We believe we have dismantled one of central Harlem’s most violent and destructive criminal street gangs,” he told the reporters and camera crews gathered in the law library on the eighth floor of his downtown office.

As he laid out a tale of firearms and violence, his voice softened: “The crews are getting younger.”

Almost two years after voters chose him as Manhattan’s first new district attorney in over a quarter century, Vance is still perfecting a public role that requires him to exemplify law and order. His appearance that day showed it. Not yet entirely comfortable with forces that lock up bad guys, not entirely without sympathy for the people who get locked up, Vance can still find himself as out of place as a gun in a library. 

– To read the full report by Laura Nahmias, head to City Hall News…