Media culpability in the tarnishing of the badge
Each year in May, we set aside time to honor fallen peace officers as part of National Peace Officers Memorial Week. Today elected officials, law enforcement leaders and the public…
Yesterday, using an excellent Special Report from CCX Media, I looked at the rise in carjackings and shootings in the Twin Cities suburbs. Why is this happening?
The suburban police chiefs interviewed explained that:
…there are many factors contributing to the increase in lawless behavior. They say some of the crime is spilling over from nearby Minneapolis. But they also point the finger at the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
“The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office is also not holding people accountable to the level where I think that they should,” said Chief Foley.
Hennepin County’s bail reform policy went into effect in January. That polices includes 19 felony crimes that prosecutors no longer request bail for.
“Stolen vehicles, for example. Folks can go out and steal a vehicle in Hennepin County and not be held for bail, and people know that, and so they’re continuing to do it,” said Chief Revering.
In its defense, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office said:
These crimes are low-level, non-dangerous offenses. What that means to the defendant is that he or she will promise to make all court appearances and follow any other conditions set by the judge. With that, they remain free until their next court hearing.
It stressed the difference between vehicle thefts and carjackings, the latter being a crime in which a firearm or other violent measures are used to steal a car.
…Chief Revering says vehicle theft is often done to commit other crimes.
“They’re getting a slap on the wrist, being released, and then continuing to commit the crime again,” she said.
The police chiefs are worried the rise in crime will continue if the public stays silent and criminals are not held accountable for their actions.
“It’s just the pure lack of respect that … that people are having for each other,” said Hoyt.
Let us hope that policy changes soon.