One of the most atrocious of this year’s murders in Minneapolis was that of 20-year-old convenience store clerk and University of Minnesota student Eric Pearson. Pearson was murdered in cold blood on February 12 in the course of a $249 theft at the convenience store where he worked in northeast Minneapolis.
This morning’s Minneapolis Star Tribune reports on the arrest of two of three suspects, the third being trigger man Maynard Cross. Cross is still on the loose. At the time of the shooting, Cross had an outstanding warrant for his arrest pending. He had previously been convicted of second degree assault (using a gun) and twice absconded from post-prison release programs. Given his previous criminal history, one might have thought that the arrest warrant would be executed promptly. If it had, Eric Pearson would be alive today.
Anthony Hayes was the lookout man during the robbery who was arrested yesterday. He was at least a one-time gang member (the reporters do not appear to have inquired regarding the defendants’ current gang affiliations, if any) who had previously been convicted of armed robbery. For the armed robbery he was sentenced to a year in the workhouse by a lenient judge who urged him to go to college: “You apparently have a real bright future if you can stop being in gang-related activities and head yourself towards college or some other direction,” the judge advised him.
The judge continued: “What I need to say to you though is that you’re coming extremely close to having gone to prison. And you just can’t afford to mess up on probation at all.” Thus speaks the racist Minnesota criminal justice system (according to the Minnesota Supreme Court Task Force on Racial Bias in the Judicial System) to an egregious black offender.
You might say Hayes messed up on probation, or you might say the judge erred when he declared him “particularly amenable to probation and treatment.” The judge isn’t talking.
The Star Tribune’s story is “3 charged in Minneapolis store clerk’s killing.”
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