Residents of Ferguson, Missouri with outstanding arrest warrants are off the hook – at least for a little while – thanks to a judge who decided to pander to the Black Lives Matter protests.
In an attempt to appease the activists and protesters who have rocked the city, a municipal court judge announced on Monday that all arrest warrants issued in that city before December 31, 2014 would be withdrawn.
Explaining in a press release that he wanted to give residents “a fresh start,” Judge Donald McCullin said the warrants – most of which were issued to residents who failed to appear in court for lesser crimes – would be withdrawn, and the cases would be revisited on an individual basis.
Protesters saw the move as a win, following the resignation of Police Chief Thomas Jackson in March of this year.
“As an activist you are going to stay mad because you are not going to always get all that you want,” said Patricia Bynes, the Ferguson Township Democratic committeewoman who was active within the Black Lives Matter movement, according to CNN.
“But because of the pushing and the pressure that protesters put on Ferguson, I am considering it a win and a very big win.”
McCullin argued that the move was needed to remove the fear of appearing in court for minor violations such as traffic tickets and petty crimes.
“It doesn’t give them a free pass,” McCullin said, according to News Channel 5. “They’ll still have to answer. We’ll be sending out [new] summons to those whose warrants have been withdrawn.”
Of course most of the warrants were issued because residents cited with petty crimes refused to “answer” in the first place. It’s not exactly clear why McCullin believes anyone would be more inclined to show up this time around.