A BLM rioter who set fire to a pawn shop and killed a man is facing a shorter sentence than normal because, according to US Attorney W. Anders Folk, he was “caught up in the fury” of the Black Lives Matter riots.
On June 5, 2020, in Minnesota, BLM riots were breaking out and becoming violent. Hundreds of people took to the streets and began looting local businesses, vandalizing private property, and recklessly setting fire to buildings. Montez Terriel Lee Jr. was one of these violent actors.
That night, Lee broke into a pawn shop, poured fire accelerant around, and set it on fire. These actions were caught on video.
According to court records, one of the videos captures Lee standing in front of the burning shop, saying, “F*** this place. We’re gonna burn this b**** to the ground.”
Over two months after Lee burned down the shop, a 30-year-old man, Oscar Lee Stewart, was found dead among the debris.
The typical sentence that would be applied to Lee’s case is over 200 months of incarceration. However, in a memo from the US Attorney’s office for the District of Minnesota, a lesser sentence was recommended because of the “motives” behind Lee’s actions.
The memo describes Lee’s motives as almost admirable. Forgetting the violence he enacted and the innocent life he took, at least his intentions were “good”.
Mr. Lee’s motive for setting the fire is a foremost issue. Mr. Lee credibly states that he was in the streets to protest unlawful police violence against black men, and there is no basis to disbelieve this statement. Mr. Lee, appropriately, acknowledges that he “could have demonstrated in a different way,” but that he was “caught up in the fury of the mob after living as a black man watching his peers suffer at the hands of police.”...
Nevertheless, although Lee committed a crime that cost a man his life, the US Attorney insists his motives need to be considered. “As anyone watching the news worldwide knows, many other people in Minnesota were similarly caught up,” said the attorney. “There appear to have been many people in those days looking only to exploit the chaos and disorder in the interests of personal gain or random violence. There appear also to have been many people who felt angry, frustrated, and disenfranchised, and who were attempting, in many cases in an unacceptably reckless and dangerous manner, to give voice to those feelings. Mr. Lee appears to be squarely in this latter category.”
It’s worth noting that there are January 6 political prisoners who are being met with no mercy, no understanding, and certainly no consideration of their “motives”. These individuals are being held in horrible conditions and investigated as criminals for walking into the Capitol and taking selfies amidst a major protest. However, when a man KILLS someone while in pursuit of his political agenda, it is perfectly excusable and understandable...
In the conclusion of Lee’s case, instead of the 200+ months that Lee was predicted to serve, the ruling Judge granted a much lighter 120-month term of imprisonment.
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