County attorney will not prosecute Jeffrey Rice

3rdPrecinct3BY ED FELIEN

At a demonstration on Nov. 25 of last year in front of the Third Precinct station at Lake and Minnehaha, Jeffrey Rice drove his car into a crowd of demonstrators.  Southside Pride encouraged demonstrators to contact the County Attorney’s Office with information about the incident with the faith that violent assaults on peaceful demonstrators would be prosecuted.
On Thursday, Feb. 12, we received this email:
“Hello Mr. Felien,
“Because you have been persistent in asking about possible charges in the Jeffrey Rice case, I am sending you this statement on the decision we finalized on Wednesday.
“The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office declined to charge Jeffrey Rice in connection with an incident on Nov. 25 when his vehicle possibly hit a demonstrator while driving on Lake Street.
“After reviewing all of the facts from the police investigation, prosecutors determined that the actions Mr. Rice took did not reflect intent or actions that constitute a crime that could be charged, specifically under Minnesota Statute 169.09.
“Chuck Laszewski
“Media Coordinator”
Southside Pride responded:
“Hello Mr. Laszewski,
“Thank you very much for getting back to me on this incident.  However, I am puzzled as to why the County Attorney’s Office chose to investigate the incident of Jeffrey Rice driving his car into a crowd of demonstrators only on the narrow grounds of Minnesota Statute 169.09, failure to stop at the scene of an accident involving another individual.  As I understand the facts in this incident, Mr. Rice did stop when he was about a mile away from the scene of the accident and did report the incident to the police at that time.  Videos taken at the time of the incident show Mr. Rice deliberately drove his car into a crowd of demonstrators and knocked some of them down.  The concern of many who participated in the demonstration and of many who have viewed the video is why Mr. Rice was not charged with attempted vehicular homicide or aggravated assault?
“By declining to prosecute Mr. Rice, the County Attorney’s Office seems to be sanctioning this behavior and condoning violent assaults on peaceful demonstrations.
“Ed Felien”

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