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Louisville mayoral candidate says family further traumatized after activist charged with attempted murder is free on bail

Louisville Democratic mayoral candidate Craig Greenberg speaks during a news conference Feb. 14. (Timothy D. Easley/AP)

Louisville mayoral candidate Craig Greenberg said Thursday that he and his family have been further traumatized after the activist charged with his attempted murder was released on bail just days after the shooting.

“Our criminal justice system is clearly broken,” Greenberg (D) said Thursday in a statement. “It is nearly impossible that someone can attempt murder on Monday and walk out of jail on Wednesday.”

“Sadly, like others who suffer from a broken system, my team and family have been traumatized again by this news,” he added.

Quintez Brown, 21, was released Wednesday with the help of the Louisville Community Bail Fund, a group co-founded by Black Lives Matter Louisville organizer Chanelle Helm, put up the $100,000 bail.

Brown faces a charge of attempted murder and four counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. Brown pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Tuesday.

The BLM Louisville Twitter account posted multiple tweets explaining the reasons it came to Brown’s aid, including support for the abolition of prisons. The organization argues that Brown is not a flight risk and is in need of mental health services.

“We believe whether you’re violent or not that the confines of jail or prison can’t serve your needs if viable resources are there for you. & they are,” the account tweeted.

Greenberg was meeting with four members of his campaign team Monday morning when a man standing in the office doorway aimed a gun at the Democrat before opening fire. A staffer slammed the door shut before the team barricaded themselves in the office using tables and desks before the shooter fled.

No one was injured, but Greenberg said during a news conference following the shooting that a bullet came so close to him that it grazed his sweater and shirt.

The candidate said that he trusts Louisville police to handle the investigation properly and that the individual who attempted to shoot him will be appropriately prosecuted.

“Regardless of what leads someone to commit a violent crime, there must be consequences,” Greenberg said. “Gun violence is unacceptable under any circumstances for any reasons anywhere.”

“Too many families in our city live in fear due to the constant threat of gun violence,” he added.

In remarks on the Senate floor Thursday, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) assailed Black Lives Matter for helping bail out Brown.

“Less than 48 hours after this activist tried to literally murder a politician, the radical left bailed their comrade out of jail,” McConnell said. “It is just jaw-dropping. The innocent people of Louisville deserve better.”

McConnell also focused on the corporations that began pledging their support for the Black Lives Matter movement following the murder of George Floyd, a Black man who died in May 2020 after being restrained by a Minneapolis police office.

“Since 2020, a long list of prominent corporations have donated or pledged enormous amounts of money to the radical nationwide BLM parent organization,” the lawmaker said. “One wonders if any of their corporate money helped spring this would-be assassin from jail.”

According to the Courier Journal, Brown had interned for the newspaper, appeared on MSNBC and met with high-profile liberal figures including former president Barack Obama and the Rev. Al Sharpton over the past few years.

Brown made national headlines in 2021 after going missing for two weeks. He was later found on a park bench in New York City. This year, the former University of Louisville student announced a run for Louisville Metro Council.

According to the Daily Beast, Brown had begun meeting with a Black nationalist organization with a long history of anti-Semitic views before Monday’s incident. But his attorney Rob Eggert disputed suggestions that Monday’s shooting was a hate crime and said his client has “serious mental issues.”

“This is not a hate crime — it is a mental health case,” Eggert told the Courier Journal on Tuesday.

Greenberg said Thursday that mental health issues are not a valid reason to release a murder suspect from jail.

“If someone is struggling with mental illness and is in custody, they should be evaluated and treated in custody,” he said. “We must work together to fix this system.”