A woke assistant district attorney from the office of Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams refused cases of 15 people who were arrested in a Mardi Gras gun sweep.
Formerly the director of Innocence Project New Orleans, Emily Maw heads the Civil Rights unit in Williams’ office, according to Fox8.
Maw refused the case of, among others, Keaton Manghave, 24, who had been arrested for allegedly carrying with him a modified machine gun to Bourbon Street.
New Orleans police noticed Manghave walking at around 2 a.m. on Monday with a handgun.
“While back at the station, the officers observed the handgun was equipped with a machine gun conversion device, making the handgun a fully automatic weapon,” according to the NOPD gist sheet, Fox8 reported.
And this wasn’t the first time the suspect has faced gun charges. While in Chattanooga, the Tennessee man reportedly faced prior charges of illegal carrying of a weapon and selling drugs in February and March 2021.
“This particular case is the most egregious of all 19 cases,” Rafael Goyeneche, president of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, told Fox8.
“This is a felony. This is a weapon that has been converted from a semi-automatic into an automatic,” he continued. “It makes absolutely no sense that she would have read this document and then come to the conclusion that this case has no merit and refusing it.”
Maw let the 15 suspects go with the understanding that the guns they surrendered would not be returned.
In doing so, the DA’s office said in a Thursday statement, Maw “deviated from our standard practice.”
Williams promised he would order “an extensive internal review of each matter brought before magistrate court on this date, as well as appropriate remedial measures to prevent similar unauthorized activity in the future.”
The answer was lacking for Goyeneche, who said that, as someone who has been an attorney for decades, Maw should have known better.
“When you see an out-of-state suspect with a felony charge for a fully automated handgun, and he has priors,” he said, “I think this in and of itself is enough to question Emily Maw and her decision making.”
Regardless of whether Williams will discipline Maw (he didn’t say), the damage has likely been done with respect to the gun-toting suspects whose cases Maw refused.
According to Goyeneche, a deal was made in open court on the record, meaning any defense attorney would likely file a motion to “quash any subsequent bill of information that attempts to bring charges,” Fox reports.
“It can expose the district attorney’s office to not being able to back out of this deal, which is, I think, even more egregious,” Goyeneche said.
Maw, “a close ally of Williams in his campaign to bring reforms to the district attorney’s office,” according to the Daily Mail, was appointed by the D.A. as one of “a number of moves made by Williams that aligned with his progressive philosophy on the criminal justice system.”
But as violent crime in New Orleans surged over the last two years, Williams has since backed away from some of his liberal policies.
“According to the nonpartisan watchdog Metropolitan Crime Commission, the city recorded 280 murders in New Orleans in 2022, the highest number of killings in a single year since 1996,” the Daily Mail reports. “The group says that number equals about 70 homicides for every 100,000 residents.”
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