I'm sick of politicians who value public opinion over public safety. Public safety isn't a slogan to me, it's what I've spent my career protecting and promoting. Read about my policy priorities below:
Reduce violent crime
My small community in North Minneapolis has averaged nearly one shooting victim per day since mid-2020, a threefold increase over the previous years. We must do everything in our power to restore safety. In addition to strict and swift prosecution of gun crimes, my office will work with local law enforcement and community leaders to assemble a task force that targets, tracks, and prevents violent crime.
Utilize smart consequences
I believe in care first, jail last. We must use discretion when charging criminals to assure public safety, education, and eventual reintroduction into society. Repeat and violent criminals must face the consequences for their actions, and be removed from the community to ensure safety. However, we must use alternatives to incarceration when dealing with low-level, first-time offenders.
Start with prevention
Right now, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office focuses almost all of it's energy on what comes after a crime is committed. However, I believe the office could play a larger role in preventing crime before it happens through grant-funded programs and collaboration with local governments, religious groups, and community organizations.
Healthy police relations
A healthy relationship between the HCA and the police is critical. The police rely on the HCA to prosecute criminals whom they arrest, and the people rely on the HCA to hold police accountable when they break the law. I believe that police deserve respect and gratitude for all that they do for the community but must be prosecuted if they misuse their power or break the law.
Focus on fentanyl
Far too many of our friends, family, and neighbors are falling victim to the current fentanyl epidemic running rampant in Hennepin County. 86% of opioid deaths in Hennepin County are caused by fentanyl, tripling the number of overdose deaths over the last few years. It is imperative that the Hennepin County Attorneys' office coordinates with the U.S. Attorneys' office, law enforcement, state legislators, and the community to create a united front to address this public health crisis.
Carjackings and juvenile crime
The majority of carjackings in Hennepin County are being committed by teenagers, 75% of whom are repeat offenders. No matter where you stand politically, that fact reveals an abject failure in our justice system. We must revise youth placement practices to provide sufficient rehabilitation and separation before releasing youths who commit violent offenses. When we fail to address this issue on the front end, it drives an increase in adult incarcerations once these juvenile offenders reach age 18.
Common sense immigration reform
ICE will treat a 365 day stayed gross misdemeanor sentence as an ‘aggravated felony’. That subjects those probationers to a fast-tracked deportation. Often these probationers are non-violent offenders or others who judges have sentenced to two years of supervision with jail time with treatment conditions to address substance abuse, mental health, and anger management issues.
However, ICE will lump them into the same category as violent felons and speed up their deportations. This often tears families apart and deprives children of their breadwinner, and hurts immigrant communities. This also hurts victims since they will never receive restitution.
If prosecutors ask for 364 days stayed rather than 365 days, these immigrants will not be fast-tracked out of the country.
As Hennepin County Attorney, I will make sure gross misdemeanor offenders are held accountable for their crimes, but also given community-based treatment to address substance abuse, mental health, and anger management issues.
Connecting police with communities
My neighbors and I voted against defunding the police for a reason. We need more police and we also need better police. We know police-community relations suffer when officers do not know the community members they are policing. I've done work to connect law enforcement with the community since the late '90s, and I plan on using that experience and the resources available to the HCAO to double down on that mission.