Tayler Rahm: Is Minnesota becoming a criminal sanctuary state?

The message Minnesota Democrats are sending is that we are a criminal sanctuary state.

A sign calls for abolishing the police during the May 2020 riots in Minneapolis. (Shutterstock)

It’s true: Accidents happen. That phrase, usually said with a shrug, tends to signify our resignation that some things in life are simply beyond our control, no matter how much we wish we could prevent them from happening.

But what if a tragedy was preventable and repeatedly foreshadowed over the course of several years and the result was the tragic loss of life? What if elected politicians made those deaths more likely by continuing to sign bills that encourage criminal behavior?

That is what happened on June 16, 2023, when the lives of five women were cut short when a suspect blew through a red light at 100 mph and broadsided their vehicle. The five girls — everyone inside the car — were pronounced dead at the scene. They were all under the age of 21 and were preparing for a close friend’s wedding.

For such an unspeakably heartbreaking loss of life to be considered senseless requires the belief that nothing could have been done to prevent it. That is the wrong assumption.

The suspect arrested by police was no stranger to criminal behavior. He was found with a firearm and fentanyl in his vehicle and his record includes a litany of criminal activity that directly led to the accident. He was helped, by soft-on-crime policies that tend to facilitate the commission of the next crime, rather than focusing on punishment or prevention.

Derrick Thompson has frequently run afoul of the law. In fact, since turning 18, illegal weapons, drugs, gang activities, and a host of vehicular crimes have become his calling card.

By 2020, Derrick was convicted in California of a hit-and-run that left his victim in a coma. His sentence of eight years in prison should have kept him off the street on the night of June 16; however, California law allows for the early release of violent criminals. After serving less than half of his sentence, Derrick transferred his parole and came to Minnesota where the state helped to pave the path to his next crime.

Indeed, despite his long history of driving-related offenses, Minnesota saw fit to reinstate his license. And that’s not the only help the state indirectly provided. Despite the dramatic rise in violent crime in Minnesota, the Democrat-controlled state legislature saw California’s crime-inducing laws as a feature, not a bug. Mimicking the far-left California law that saw Thompson released after serving less than half of his sentence, Democrats forced through a similar bill over Republican objections in Minnesota, allowing violent criminals to be released from prison early.

With a proverbial shrug, the message Minnesota Democrats are sending is that we are a criminal sanctuary state. That is a path to more violent crime with predictable outcomes. Yes, accidents do happen. But stacking the deck in favor of criminals will exacerbate an already growing problem. One of the first duties of an elected official is to keep people safe. That will be one of my priorities when I’m elected to Congress.

As a believer in the 10th Amendment and states’ rights, I believe that states can control their own laws — however, why should states be forced to accept violent criminals from other states if those states are going to release them from prison before their prison term ends? Perhaps, if places like California want to allow violent criminals to be released from their prison sentence early, they should be required to keep those individuals under their own supervision until they complete their pronounced prison sentence.

It is unacceptable that Minnesota is following in California’s footsteps, and more innocent lives will be lost because of it.

Tayler Rahm is a candidate for Congress in Minnesota’s Second Congressional District.


Tayler Rahm

Tayler Rahm is a candidate for Congress in Minnesota's Second Congressional District.