Reasonable minds can differ, I guess, but if I had 100 large lying around earmarked for bailing out criminal suspects, I’d probably start with the nonviolent offenders.
Not the would-be assassins charged with attempted murder.
Ed wrote yesterday about the curious case of Quintez Brown, who allegedly walked into the campaign headquarters of Louisville mayoral candidate Craig Greenberg on Monday morning while Greenberg was meeting with aides, pulled a pistol, and fired. (Brown had been known to locals in the past as, uh, a gun-control advocate.) No one was wounded, miraculously, although Greenberg claims that Brown aimed right at him and that one bullet grazed the back of his sweater.
Police said yesterday that the motive isn’t known. Some have speculated that Brown targeted Greenberg because of his pro-police agenda: “The top issue on Mr. Greenberg’s campaign website is public safety. An eight-page plan outlines his desire, among other things, to hire nearly 300 police officers and to dedicate more resources to solving violent crime and making sure illegal guns stay off the streets.” Per the Free Beacon, Brown wrote a newspaper column last year titled, “Louisville’s huge police budget is the real boogeyman traumatizing Black people.”
But there’s another possibility. Ed noted yesterday that some of Brown’s online ravings about “scientific socialism” suggest a man struggling with his mental health, raising the possibility of an incoherent motive a la Jared Loughner in the shooting of Gabby Giffords. That’s precisely what Brown’s lawyer claimed at his arraignment yesterday, in fact:
During a Tuesday arraignment, defense attorney Rob Eggert “urged the court to recognize Brown’s mental state,” the Courier-Journal continued. Eggert reportedly said his client had “mental and emotional issues” and declared that the case involved “mental health” — “not a hate crime.”
The defense attorney told the newspaper that his client was “severely mentally ill and needs treatment, not prison.” Brown, per his attorney, had “a mental health breakdown and hasn’t slept for days or weeks.”
Either he’s a cold-blooded politically motivated attempted killer or dangerously unbalanced. Not a great candidate for pretrial release, in other words, unless he’s released to a mental hospital. Which, according to this report, he wouldn’t be. If he’s bailed out, he’d be under house arrest.
And as of this afternoon, he has been bailed out. Credit goes to the Louisville Community Bail Fund, “a project by Black Lives Matter Louisville.”
The $100,000 cashiers check has been officially given to the clerks office to pay for @BLMLouisville activist Quintez Brown’s release. @LouCommBailFund is paying. Brown is accused of shooting at Louisville mayoral candidate @RunWithCraig. pic.twitter.com/5BMdW2hpfm
— Rachel DrozeTV (@RachelDrozeTV) February 16, 2022
It’s weird to me that Brown is eligible for bail at all given the potential risk he poses to the community. But the LCBF apparently hasn’t let a suspect’s propensity to re-offend deter it from bailing out dangerous suspects in the past. The Free Beacon points to this story from 2020 about the time they bailed out a man accused in a double shooting apparently without vetting him:
“Posting somebody’s bond without knowing anything about them, without knowing them and without knowing where they’re going to live or who they’re going to live with, or having any insight into how they may conduct themselves while on bond is dangerous,” [Judge McKay] Chauvin said during the hearing…
“Did you talk to [Andre] Clayton prior to posting his bond?” Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Emily Lantz asked.
“No, ma’am, I had talked to his mother,” [LCBF representative Mitzi] Wilson replied.
“Did you speak to Mr. Clayton’s attorney prior to posting his bond?” Lantz asked.
“No, ma’am,” Wilson responded…
Something else Lantz said LCBF didn’t check was Clayton’s criminal history, something it took Troubleshooters just minutes to find out. Clayton had a previous robbery conviction in 2015 and was out on probation when he was arrested again in relation to a shooting. According to police reports, Clayton shot two people, both of whom survived, and was charged with two counts of assault and for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
The bond the group posted for Clayton ended up being forfeited when he “posted pictures on social media of drugs and cash while posing next to his friend who was holding a gun.” Cops went to his house and reportedly found bottles of Oxycodone, Xanax, weed, and large amounts of cash. But he’s a light offender compared to some of the people whom LCBF has bailed out, which include “suspects accused of murder, rape, domestic violence, robbery, and other violent crimes.” One guy with a child pornography conviction already on his record was bailed out by the group after he was charged with raping a woman and sending her to the hospital with a lacerated liver.
Everyone deserves a defense and a fair trial, but I … can’t help but think LCBF could be more discerning in deciding which potential beneficiaries of scarce bail funds are most worthy. Posting bail for Brown smacks of a publicity stunt or a reward for his prior leftist political activism more so than an attempt to help a defendant with a strong case maximize his chances of getting off.
And ironically, it’s apt to become ammunition against the progressive cause of bail reform. The average person will look at Brown being sprung, I suspect, and conclude that the courts are far too lax in granting pretrial release, not too strict by tying freedom to one’s ability to pay.
The LCBF is promising to help Brown get mental-health help now that he’s free, for what it’s worth. Silver lining here: At least the money’s being used for a tangible purpose in this case instead of sloshing around in BLM’s $60 million slush fund.
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