Ramsey County Sheriff Opposes County Attorney’s Move to Not Prosecute Juveniles


Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher wrote a letter to Ramsey County Attorney John Choi opposing his Collaborative Review Team (CRT), saying that it returns dangerous juveniles to society. In his letter, Fletcher asks Choi to pause the program until certain issues are resolved.

Ramsey County Attorney Choi first came under fire when he decided in September to no longer prosecute felonies that are discovered while conducting “low-level traffic stops.” The Minnesota Sun reported, “Choi announced … that his office will not prosecute felony cases that arise through low-level traffic stops. He said this will help correct racial disparities within policing, traffic stops, and incarceration.”

“The policy introduced by Choi says that they will not prosecute felonies ‘such as those involving illegal possession of drugs or firearms’ however, it does make exceptions for instances that endanger public safety,” The Sun reported.

Fletcher responded to Choi’s latest policy decision with a letter asking him to reconsider, saying that the initiative is a “failure to charge and petition dangerous juvenile offenders.”

Crime Watch Minneapolis called Choi’s CRT, “the county’s policy failure to prosecute and hold dangerous juvenile offenders accountable.” Crime Watch Minneapolis explained that juvenile offenders “are instead sent to ‘talking circles’ and other attempts at avoiding prosecution.”

The letter from Fletcher said that in his opinion, “the CRT ‘committee of three’ does not reflect the concerns of law enforcement, the child’s parents, the victims, or the community at large.” Fletcher said that as someone who has worked with juvenile offenders in the past, he does not believe that the CRT program “is consistent with the intent of the juvenile justice statutes.”

Fletcher finished the letter telling Choi that he does not doubt his “fundamental belief in the experiment,” he believes that Choi would benefit from hearing from “all voices” about what is best for the community.

Additional information on the CRT committee or its initiatives could not be found on the County Attorney’s website and Choi’s office did not immediately return The Sun’s request for more information about the program.

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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun and The Wisconsin Daily Star | Star News Network. Follow Hayley on Twitter or like her Facebook page. Send news tips to [email protected].
Photo “John Choi” by John Choi.




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