Derrick Thompson formally indicted on federal drug/gun charges
Some six months after his fatal car crash that took the lives of 5 young women on Lake Street in Minneapolis, Derrick Thompson was officially indicted on federal drug distribution…
Much has been written about the Minnesota Freedom Fund (MFF), a 501c3 organization, which has existed since 2016. MFF came to prominence after the death of George Floyd when it took in millions of dollars in donations and paid the bail for many protestors and criminal defendants held in Minnesota jails.
In 2020 alone MFF took in $41 million, and paid about $16.5 million in bail and immigration bonds, per MFF filings found here.
Alpha news and Minneapolis Crime Watch have kept track of a long list of MFF bail failures here.
Last week MFF was forced to defend their practices again after a KSTP story aired and shed light on another man bailed out by MFF who went on to re-offend. In that case, Shawn Tillman was being held for indecent exposure. MFF stepped in and posted Tillman’s bail, despite a lengthy criminal record that included felony convictions for indecent exposure to a minor, assault of a police officer, and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. Almost predictably Tillman re-offended within 3 weeks, this time shooting and killing a man on a light rail platform.
In MFF’s statement defending its practices, Co-Directors Mirella Ceja-Orozco and Elizer Darris, display amazing tone deafness by stating “we urge our leaders to confront gun violence in our communities…..”
MFF proudly lists some of its goals on its website as follows:
MFF is a threat to Minnesota’s public safety.
Minnesota’s Bail Evaluation System
The Minnesota constitution prohibits excessive bail or unusual punishment. State statute and the judicial system work in concert to develop and continually refine procedures that guide the bail evaluation process.
According to 2018 Minnesota House research on bail:
In most cases when a court sets bail, it does so only after a detailed, individual evaluation of the defendant and his/her circumstances has been conducted. The court’s purpose in applying bail is to ensure public safety and reasonably assure the defendant’s appearance in court going forward.
When MFF indiscriminately pays the bail for a defendant, it subverts this carefully balanced system of individual bail evaluation. This harms our collective safety.
One of two things is likely to happen: 1) Judicial procedures will be tightened, and some bails adjusted to account for and prevent groups like MFF from posting bail, or 2) Minnesota will pass legislation to prevent organizations like MFF from being able to post bail. A bill has been drafted by House Republican Mary Franzen and can be found here.
MFF has caused real harm to our state, and strong responses from our courts and the legislature are in order.
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The legislature appropriates more money, the unions grab it for salaries, the school board cuts middle school band, and everyone blames the legislature for underfunding. Rinse and repeat.