Charges were dropped Friday against a prominent BLM activist who led a protest outside of a judge’s home in Minneapolis.
The activist, Cortez Rice, lost his 15-year-old son Jahmari in a shooting Tuesday at the South Education Center in Richfield.
Rice was charged with felony harassment in December for his role in leading a protest outside what he believed to be the home of Hennepin County Judge Regina Chu, who presided over the trial of convicted police officer Kim Potter.
The Nov. 6 protest was staged in response to Chu’s decision to bar cameras from the courtroom during Potter’s trial, a decision that was ultimately reversed.
“We at the judge house … on her ass, we on her heels,” Rice said during a livestream of the protest. “Waiting for the gang to get up here.”
Ironically, Rice was able to participate in the protest thanks to Judge Chu herself. Just weeks before the protest, Rice appeared in Chu’s courtroom because he allegedly violated the terms of his probation. He was on probation due to a gun charge stemming from a 2016 incident.
Chu ruled that Rice should remain free rather than go back to jail.
“Judge R.C. noted that she believed she was the target of the Defendant and the other protesters. She further stated that it was her belief the intention was to intimidate her and to interfere with the judicial process,” states the criminal complaint filed against Rice.
These charges were dropped Friday by Senior Judge William H. Leary. According to Leary, the state needed to allege and prove that Chu was placed in reasonable fear of substantial bodily harm or emotional distress as a result of Rice’s actions.
“The state concedes that the complaint does not allege such harm,” said Leary. “For that reason, the complaint must be dismissed without prejudice.”