ST PAUL, Minn. — St. Paul City Attorney Lyndsey Olson announced plans for addressing the near 100 cases related to the unrest throughout the city following George Floyd's death.
According to a press release from Olson's office, each case will be reviewed to differentiate between peaceful protesters and those engaging in "aggressive, harmful behavior."
"Supporting healing in our community following the death of George Floyd means making a distinction between those peacefully protesting, and those causing destruction in our community," Olson said in a release. "Our plans for resolving these cases strikes this critical balance."
The release went on to say that they're still in the process of reviewing cases but have determined that any cases involving individuals who were peacefully protesting will be dismissed, but will include a phone call or a letter from Olson's office explaining the charging decision. Those individuals will also be invited to provide any input and/or participate in justice outcomes in the community by volunteering as a circle member in their neighborhood with the City Attorney's ETHOS (Engaging community; Taking ownership; Healing; Overcoming obstacles; and Sustainable solutions) restorative justice program.
For individuals whose actions went beyond peaceful protesting, the City Attorney's Office may offer alternatives to typical prosecution, including the ETHOS program for first-time offenders or non-violent offenders.
"Voices of peaceful protest have challenged and renewed our country's spirit in every generation," St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter said in a release. "I fully support this approach, and appreciate the critical distinction between those who sought to build a better future for our community and those who tried to tear us down."