MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman says he will not be seeking re-election after over 20 years in the position.
On Wednesday, Freeman released a statement announcing his decision to not run in November 2022:
“Next year I will have been Hennepin County Attorney for 24 years, the longest serving in county history and I will also be 74 years old. It’s time to move on,” he said. “It was been a marvelous privilege to serve the people of Hennepin County and to lead the State’s largest and most experienced public law office.”
Freeman says he’s proud of his office’s work on officer-involved killings of civilians, saying the procedures and protocols developed resulted in a strong investigation into the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“(It) allowed my office to charge Officer Derek Chauvin with murder in only four days. It supported Attorney General Ellison’s effort to obtain a murder conviction with the help of our staff,” Freeman said.
Ellison’s office took the lead in prosecuting former officer Chauvin and the three other former Minneapolis police officers.
Freeman says his office also stopped using grand juries in officer-involved deadly force cases “in the name of transparency and accountability.”
Other accomplishments Freeman cited include establishing the Domestic Abuse Service Center, increasing diversity in the office, reducing school truancy, and stopping the prosecution of possession and sale of smaller amounts of marijuana. He says the latter decision “has kept many out of the system and reduced some of the racial disparities in our system.”
Freeman also addressed his deepest regret.
“My deepest regret is that, to date, we have not been able to bring charges against the person who fired a shot that pierced a home and killed 3-year-old Terrell Mayes in December 2011,” Freeman said.
As for his toughest decision, Freeman says it was not criminal charging the two Minneapolis police officers who killed Jamar Clark.
“The police conduct was wrong and is not acceptable, but it was not criminal. That is my job: To charge those whose conduct is criminal and can be proven to a jury with admissible facts,” he said.
In closing, Freeman said he is proud of the job his office has done and pledges his “ continued best efforts” during the remaining months of his term.
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Source: CBS Minnesota