voice for criminal justice reform charged with gun, drugs

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voice for criminal justice reform charged with gun, drugs

Postby xd ED on Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:31 pm

A policy fellow for Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey whose story of incarceration helped influence criminal justice reform in recent years has been charged with selling drugs and illegally possessing a gun.

Police say they pulled over 28-year-old Keegan Rolenc for running a stop sign late Sunday and searched his car after smelling marijuana. They found 40.6 grams of cocaine, $2,200 and a loaded 9-millimeter handgun in a backpack, according to charges filed in Hennepin County on Tuesday.

Police also found a digital scale and a notebook with a list of handwritten names under the title, "owe me," according to the complaint.

Rolenc has been working 30 hours a week for Frey since January, making $15 per hour, on policy issues related to economic inclusion and real estate. He is suspended pending the outcome of the case.


Frey said he learned about Rolenc's arrest Monday, a day before Rolenc was scheduled to appear alongside the mayor at a public event.


"I was gutted — totally gutted," said Frey. "If the allegations are true, the disappointment is cavernous."

Rolenc is facing three felony charges and a violation of probation. He posted bail Tuesday evening.

In an interview Tuesday, Rolenc maintained his innocence. "I'll be waiting for my due process and my day in court for the facts to come out," he said, asking the public to reserve judgment in the meantime.

In 2016, the Star Tribune profiled Rolenc in a series of stories investigating Minnesota's solitary confinement practices. The report featured a journal Rolenc kept during his year in the state's harshest isolation unit, in which Rolenc documented his daily experience, reflected on his crimes and dreamed of the life he'd lead when he got out.

"My great great great grandparents were slaves," reads one passage. "Great great grandparents the children of slaves. It's in the bloodline to survive."

Outside of prison, Rolenc's mother, Sharon Rolenc, advocated for more humane prisoner treatment at the Capitol alongside mental health advocates. Last year, with bipartisan support, Minnesota legislators passed the state's first-ever laws addressing prisoner isolation.

Rolenc's story has been one of an unlikely redemption: after a drive-by shooting landed him in maximum-security prison, he returned to society determined to start a new life. Rolenc took up competitive boxing, spoke to rooms full of people about incarceration and race and has recently appeared in photos at events alongside politicians like former Attorney General Eric Holder. Rolenc also struggled with the obstacles his felony record posed, such as finding a job that paid more than minimum wage to support his family.


Frey said he met Rolenc shortly after his 2016 release from prison, at a meeting for a city-sponsored gang intervention program. Frey said he was struck by Rolenc's charisma, eloquence and determination to turn his life around.

"He talked about how the presence of his son changed his life and he was going to do everything he could," recalled Frey.

The two struck up a friendship. "I started working with him and mentoring him," Frey said.

Rolenc was studying for his real estate exam, and Frey used his connections to get him meetings with people in the industry. In his first budget address, Frey called out Rolenc by name as an example of success in the city's gang intervention programs.

"After staying up for multiple nights studying his tail off, he passed the first phase of real estate exams," the mayor said, introducing Rolenc. "Please give him a round of applause."

Rolenc did pass the Minnesota real estate exam. But the Department of Commerce rejected his license due to his criminal history. In March 2019, Frey helped Rolenc find attorneys who appealed the ruling pro bono, and Frey spoke on Rolenc's behalf at the hearing. In August, an administrative judge denied his appeal.

Frey then gave Rolenc a job in his office. Frey said he had not talked to Rolenc since the arrest.

Rolenc's first court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday.


http://m.startribune.com/policy-aide-for-minneapolis-mayor-frey-voice-for-criminal-justice-reform-charged-with-gun-drugs/567586032/?fbclid=IwAR2ahU3jOT1VjDulFDWJrioHO4qimxxe7PKtdLnuq8bpJDYueJoGI7U_DUM
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Re: voice for criminal justice reform charged with gun, drugs

Postby Holland&Holland on Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:10 pm

So he was just turning his life around,.....but no?
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Re: voice for criminal justice reform charged with gun, drugs

Postby xd ED on Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:13 pm

Holland&Holland wrote:So he was just turning his life around,.....but no?



Frey said he met Rolenc shortly after his 2016 release from prison, at a meeting for a city-sponsored gang intervention program. Frey said he was struck by Rolenc's charisma, eloquence and determination to turn his life around.

"He talked about how the presence of his son changed his life and he was going to do everything he could," recalled Frey.

The two struck up a friendship. "I started working with him and mentoring him," Frey said.


Sounds like it's Frey's fault.
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Re: voice for criminal justice reform charged with gun, drugs

Postby Holland&Holland on Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:17 pm

I blame Jacob for a lot, but not seeing this one as his screw up. Maybe a bit naive but he is a millennial after all.
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Re: voice for criminal justice reform charged with gun, drugs

Postby Lumpy on Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:16 pm

If you have the connections, dealing is so quick and easy a way of raising big money that it's a hard temptation to say no to. Especially when you know lots of apparently nice likable people who enjoy coke as a recreational drug. Imagine Rolenc as a white person dealing to rich privileged people in Hollywood. That said, if he was going to give up the "street" life he should have stayed clean; it's something you can't do halfway, like giving up drinking.
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Re: voice for criminal justice reform charged with gun, drugs

Postby Bearcatrp on Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:00 am

Maybe this guy was the mayors personal drug dealer. Guess we will see if he cuts a deal if he spills the beans to save his arse. That would be a shocker if this actually comes true and the mayor is on the list of customers.
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Re: voice for criminal justice reform charged with gun, drugs

Postby Ironbear on Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:11 am

Holland&Holland wrote:So he was just turning his life around,.....but no?

Yep. Turning it around. A full 360 degrees I guess....
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Re: voice for criminal justice reform charged with gun, drugs

Postby westhope on Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:35 am

As usual, liberals believe laws are for OTHERS to follow.
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Re: voice for criminal justice reform charged with gun, drugs

Postby xd ED on Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:55 am

Bearcatrp wrote:Maybe this guy was the mayors personal drug dealer. Guess we will see if he cuts a deal if he spills the beans to save his arse. That would be a shocker if this actually comes true and the mayor is on the list of customers.

I was wondering if he might be the city hall drug mule. We'll know the answer if some hyper-buck, highly prominent dfl lawyer shows up to do some pro bono work
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Re: voice for criminal justice reform charged with gun, drugs

Postby Holland&Holland on Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:20 pm

We shall see. As much as that would be juicy fodder, I doubt it.
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Re: voice for criminal justice reform charged with gun, drugs

Postby Bearcatrp on Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:37 pm

Someone should ask the mayor to do a hair drug test. Bet he comes up positive!
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Re: voice for criminal justice reform charged with gun, drugs

Postby Holland&Holland on Fri Feb 07, 2020 8:07 am

Bearcatrp wrote:Someone should ask the mayor to do a hair drug test. Bet he comes up positive!


You mean like Rogaine?
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Re: voice for criminal justice reform charged with gun, drugs

Postby 870TC on Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:02 am

Holland&Holland wrote:So he was just turning his life around,.....but no?


...Honestly, I was just holding this for a friend....its not mine, so it shouldn't count....right?. ;)
... "I started working with him and mentoring him," Frey said."...speaks volumes :shock:
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Re: voice for criminal justice reform charged with gun, drugs

Postby Rotary12 on Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:37 am

Bearcatrp wrote:Someone should ask the mayor to do a hair drug test. Bet he comes up positive!


In the press conference he did about this, he looked high.
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Re: voice for criminal justice reform charged with gun, drugs

Postby yukonjasper on Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:00 pm

Hey, just a little weed...what's the big deal....
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