Minnesota criminal defense attorney Thomas Gallagher, with Gallagher Criminal Defense, told The Minnesota Sun that he believes that protesters who went to Judge Regina Chu’s apartment in the Loring Park neighborhood are being “abusive.”
The criminal defense attorney said, “These protesters are abusers. It’s an abusive relationship they are seeking to have with that judge. Sometimes it’s better to just turn the other cheek and walk away. Just because you can do something doesn’t always mean that you should.”
Gallgher went on, “There are legal remedies that could be employed, but sometimes it’s better just to let it go. They’re trying to improperly influence the legal process. The legal process is supposed to be about what’s true, not about political intimidation. That’s not a legal process that you can trust, if it’s the result of propaganda, who’s got a bigger mob, who’s more scary.”
He said, “If these kinds of tactics work, what happens when it’s your turn or your child’s turn and you are being vilified in the media?”
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison did not respond to The Sun’s request for comment about the legality of the actions of the protesters entering the private apartment building, and if Ellison believes that their actions rise to the level of an attempt to intimidate Judge Chu.
Gallagher said that in his view, it appears as if protesters who went to the apartment were attempting to intimidate her. George Floyd’s “nephew,” Cortez Rice, has been intimidating the judge presiding over the Daunte Wright case, even going so far as to enter the private property where she lives. Information obtained by Crime Watch Minneapolis indicates that Rice entered the apartment building where he believed Judge Chu lived.
Chu, who lives in the Loring Park neighborhood of Minneapolis, initially disallowed cameras in the courtroom during the trial of former police officer Kim Potter.
But Gallagher asked rhetorically, “Why else would they do it other than to intimidate the judge? What other purpose would there be? If they were wanting to protest something in the public arena, presumably they would protest in a public place rather than in a place to harass or frighten someone’s personal safety.”
But the defense attorney stopped short of alleging Cortez and the other protesters committed a crime.
“I think it might be possible to do it without committing a crime,” Gallagher said. “There are a lot of aspects, such as public property versus private property. In an apartment building, there are hallways and public areas, but many of them have security systems to prevent people from coming in who do not live there or are not invited guests. If they were inside the apartment that could be burglary, but if they were in the apartment building, someone might have let them in.”
“That begs the question: who let them in? Do they have a right to be there? Are they trespassing?” Gallagher said.
Footage of the protesters outside of Chu’s apartment building shows them yelling, “What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now.”
The protest, which caused a disturbance in the neighborhood, falls in line with much of what the city of Minneapolis has been experiencing. As was reported by The Minnesota Sun, crime rates have been skyrocketing in Minneapolis. “As of early June, homicides were up 89% from 2020, while robberies were up 32% and total violent crimes 14%. The rate of carjackings in 2021 has also been outpacing last year’s enormously high rate by 53%.”
In a video of the Loring Park incident, Rice can be heard telling a bystander, “I was just in that motherf—— building. I was at that b—-’s door.”
Rice took videos of himself going to what they believed was Chu’s apartment door, saying, “We just got confirmation that this is her house right here. Just waiting for the gang to get up here.”
“Dominantly white neighborhood, look at this s—,” Rice said as he walked down the hallway of the apartment building. Rice was allegedly sharing Chu’s address all over Facebook.
A resident of the building asked Rice why he was there and Rice responded, saying “Yeah, to let the gang know we up in this b—-.”
The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office did not immediately reply to The Sun‘s request for comment regarding the actions of the protesters and if they would be pressing charges or prosecuting individuals.
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