‘There’s a concerted effort to make people afraid of crime,’ Moriarty claims

"White supremacy is ingrained everywhere," Moriarty said. "White supremacy is what we all live in. It's the water."

Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty speaks at an April 30 Board of Commissioners meeting. (Hennepin County)

During a May 28 event, Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty explained she believes there’s an effort to cause the public to fear crime.

“Moderate Democrats have done a lot of work in making people afraid of downtown Minneapolis,” she said. “There is a concerted effort to make people afraid of crime.”

The conversation took place between Moriarty and Dr. T. Anansi Wilson, a Mitchell Hamline School of Law professor. The discussion centered around being “good trouble” and activism.

“White supremacy is ingrained everywhere,” Moriarty said. “White supremacy is what we all live in. It’s the water. It’s what we swim in here.”

Wilson agreed and took it a step further, explaining his belief that white supremacy is embedded in all public policy, including the Constitution. “We have to think about the Constitution as the living will of the white supremacist, slave-owning, genocidal, xenophobic, sexist, homophobic, cis-heterosexist, capitalistic, classics [sic] maniacs, right,” Wilson said.

Moriarty, a white, lesbian woman, was elected to serve as Hennepin County attorney in 2022. Her campaign included progressive approaches to criminal justice such as “restorative justice programs” and “alternatives to incarceration.”

“Crime is down,” Moriarty said repeatedly throughout the conversation.

She also discussed her advice for current law students, which was to ask more questions. “You talk about the rule of law, it’s like, what is that? I mean, I kind of wonder how anybody talks about the rule of law now. Wasn’t Roe v. Wade rule of law? I mean, what happened to that?” Moriarty said.

“Yes, you can,” Moriarty replied when asked if the public can expect her to seek reelection. She explained that her office has been involved in a lot of good work, including expungement clinics and reevaluating sentences of individuals who are incarcerated.

“There’s so many people we haven’t charged on aiding and abetting,” Moriarty said when discussing how proud she is of the work she’s been doing as Hennepin County attorney. “The office used to charge people who were there with aiding and abetting, and we don’t do that anymore.”

She also pushed back on the notion that she harbors an anti-police bias. “I have nothing against law enforcement, I want everybody to be held accountable. That doesn’t mean punished, by the way, but accountability is important. Sometimes that’s restorative practices, most of the time it should be restorative practices.”

However, police demonstrate “fragility to any kind of feedback or criticism,” Moriarty claimed.

Days after the interview, Moriarty’s office dropped charges against a state trooper for a fatal use of force incident last year, citing her office’s inability to “prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime occurred.”


Hayley Feland

Hayley Feland previously worked as a journalist with The Minnesota Sun, The Wisconsin Daily Star, and The College Fix. She is a Minnesota native with a passion for politics and journalism.