The Minnesota Freedom Fund (MFF) bailed another violent criminal, Lionel Melaki Timms, who reoffended three days after failing to appear in court. Timms’ most recent victim now suffers from a traumatic brain injury, fractured skull, and brain bleed.
Police responded to a call about a robbery and assault on August 14. The victim, a local manager at Mac’s Industrial Sports Bar, was discovered face-down in an alleyway. Eyewitnesses described a suspect that matched Timms’ description. One witness’s photo of the suspect helped police identify Timms in the area later that afternoon.
Back in mid-July, Timms was arrested for attacking a bus passenger in Bloomington. According to the victim and the driver, the suspect allegedly repeatedly punched the victim’s face after refusing to give up any money. Police later arrested Timms not far from the crime scene. After both parties positively identified the suspect as Timms, he was charged with felony third-degree assault.
According to a court document procured by AlphaNews, MFF paid $10,000 cash bail for Timms’ release several weeks after his arrest. The document states that the money would be returned to MFF once Timms completed his August 11 trial. However, Timms failed to appear.
Following the warrant issued for Timms’ arrest, the MFF tweeted that cash bail is “an abusive system that criminalizes poverty and takes a disproportionate toll on Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color.”
The cash bail system fuels structural racism in the criminal justice system. It is an abusive system that disproportionately takes a toll on Black people, Indigenous people, and People of color. pic.twitter.com/44zAWhoIrA
— Minnesota Freedom Fund (@MNFreedomFund) August 12, 2020
The MFF argued that nobody should be detained before trial if they can’t afford bail.
In these situations, a typical bail bonds company would usually send bounty hunters after Timms to recoup their money from the court. The MFF doesn’t. Instead, the nonprofit simply forfeits the money. This isn’t the first time this has happened: the MFF has a history of using donations intended for jailed George Floyd protestors to bail out violent offenders.
Timms is scheduled to appear in court mid-September. His cumulative bail is now $90,000.
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