Louisville mayoral candidate outraged by suspect’s release
A Louisville mayoral candidate said on Thursday he was “traumatized” by the news that the man accused of drawing a gun and shooting him earlier this week had been placed in house arrest.
Quintez Brown, 21, was arrested and charged with attempted murder shortly after Monday’s shooting in Louisville. Democratic candidate Craig Greenberg was not hit by the gunfire but said a bullet grazed his sweater.
“Our criminal justice system is clearly broken. It’s almost impossible to believe that someone could attempt murder on Monday and get out of jail on Wednesday,” Greenberg said in a statement. “If someone is struggling with mental illness and is in custody, they need to be assessed. and treated in detention. We must work together to fix this system.
A group called the Louisville Community Bail Fund paid the $100,000 cash bail on Wednesday afternoon. Under the terms of the home confinement, Brown has been fitted with a GPS ankle monitor and is confined to his home.
Brown, a social justice activist who is running as an independent for the Louisville Metro Board, was charged with attempted murder and four counts of wanton endangerment.
A judge ordered Brown to have no contact with Greenberg or his campaign team and ruled that Brown could not possess firearms. Brown’s attorney said the man had “serious mental issues” and said he would undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
Chanelle Helm, an organizer with the Louisville Community Bail Fund and a member of Black Lives Matter Louisville, said the organization is concerned he won’t get the support he needs in prison.
“They don’t have the resources to provide mental health resources to people. We do it, we put it together with people in our communities,” Helm explained.
Bail fund donors who disagree with the band’s choice to post Brown’s bail, Helm added, should learn more about “why we are creating bail funds in the first place.”
“Not everyone in jail and jail will be non-violent offenders with easy cases or low bail cases. We bail people out because we can provide the resources and support they need to deal with these cases,” she said.
Jefferson County District Attorney Mike O’Connell, the first prosecutor assigned to the case, called Brown’s release “frustrating.” O’Connell said in a prepared statement that state law requires that bail be set in cases like Brown’s. He said prosecutors requested and received a higher bond for Brown, an increase from $75,000 to $100,000 in cash, and also requested house arrest if Brown were released.
“However, the criteria for release should not be the ability to access a certain amount of money,” O’Connell said. “It should be the threat to the community and if there is a history of not appearing in court.”
O’Connell said his office “kept the victim involved throughout the process.”
Sean Delahanty, a former Louisville criminal judge for two decades, said he felt the $100,000 cash bail for Brown was “substantial.”
“I’m sure the judge who set the bond believed the bond was going to keep the person in jail,” Delahanty said.
“Because how many people charged with murder have the capacity to post $100,000 cash bonds? Before bail projects (exist), I’d bet it was a rare occurrence.
Delahanty said when there is a question of mental capacity, there are tools the court can use to keep the defendant in custody while they undergo mental assessments and receive treatment, including involuntary admission. of an accused in a public facility for a period of time before their trial.
Meanwhile, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed outrage over Brown’s release in remarks to the Senate. He called the shooting “what appears to be an assassination attempt on a Jewish mayoral candidate.”
“Less than 48 hours after this activist attempted to literally assassinate a politician, the radical left released his comrade from prison on bail,” he said. “It’s breathtaking. The innocent people of Louisville deserve better.”
But, the backlash against Brown’s release has crossed the political spectrum.
Charles Booker, a Louisville Democrat running for the U.S. Senate, issued a statement opposing Brown’s release, insisting that “anyone arrested for attempted murder – and fearing harm to themselves and others – should be taken into custody”.
“The sad reality of our cash bail system is that it puts a price tag on crime without sufficient consideration for safety. It often keeps innocent people behind bars because they don’t have the necessary funds,” he said. Booker said in a statement. “Meanwhile, a person charged with attempted murder can be released within 48 hours if they have access to enough money.”
Brown disappeared for about two weeks last summer. After being found to safety, his parents released a statement asking for patience and privacy while they tend to his ‘physical, mental and spiritual needs’.
Louisville police declined Thursday to comment on questions about the safety of Greenberg, who is continuing his mayoral campaign. An LMPD spokesperson said they “do not discuss operational security issues”.
Brown is confined to his residence and must wear a GPS device, Louisville Metro Corrections spokesman Steve Durham said. He said Brown acknowledged in writing that he understood he needed to stay indoors and that his movements were being tracked. If Brown strays from the permitted area, Durham said, an alert is raised and correctional officers respond.
A GOP state lawmaker, Rep. Jason Nemes of Louisville, told the Courier Journal on Thursday that he would introduce a bill next week that would allow voters to decide on a constitutional amendment allowing defendants to be detained without bail if they present a serious danger.
Hudspeth Blackburn is a member of the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places reporters in local newsrooms to report on underreported issues.