Violent Felons Love Consent Decrees

Consent decrees are dangerous and lead to increased crime. Harvard Professor Roland Fryer’s recent study showed that DOJ pattern-or-practice investigations of police departments have resulted in hundreds of additional homicides:

Consent decrees also suppress legitimate prosecutions of violent felons. As a former prosecutor, this story from Minneapolis makes me furious. Here are the facts:

A convicted violent felon and registered sex offender was driving in downtown Minneapolis late at night and was pulled over for having a broken headlight. During a lawful search of his car, officers found a firearm and he was charged with being a felon in possession of a gun. He was booked into jail and held for 90 days before Hennepin County prosecutors dismissed the charges against him. His defense attorney claimed that the consent decree between the City and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights prohibited officers from making the stop.

Minneapolis PD denied that the consent decree prohibited the stop and noted that a broken headlight is a violation of the law and their own policies permitted officers to make such a stop.

The county prosecutors decided to take the side of the defendant and issued a statement: “The decision was made in this case because the stop was based solely on a non-working headlight, which would violate the restrictions MPD agreed to implement as part of the MDHR agreement.” At the time of the stop, the defendant also told the officers that they did not have a right to stop him for having a headlight out.

How can police officers in Minneapolis enforce the law when defendants and defense attorneys can decide which laws cannot be enforced? Here is what the defendant said after his case was dismissed:

“Officers are humans and they do have a tough job. It’s a hard job, but at the same time there are rules. I just think people have to know about what it is that they can and cannot do. When you have people of power or any power structure, if they’re the only ones that know the rules, they can break them.”

According to the defendant, the rules only apply to police officers and not to him. He is free to commit violent crimes and sex offenses with impunity and officers cannot stop him unless they catch him in the act.

Consent decrees embolden criminals. Since Minneapolis is agreeing to having two consent decrees at the same time, officers’ hands will be tied, and the criminals will rule the streets. Meanwhile for-profit monitors will drain millions of dollars from the City’s budget.

Read The Full Story Here.