Demand removal of Racist Mike Freeman
from the Conviction Review Unit.

You do not need to live in Hennepin County in order to sign!

MARCH 20, 2021

The Honorable Tim Walz
Governor of Minnesota

130 State Capitol
75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55155

The Honorable Keith Ellison
Attorney General of Minnesota

445 Minnesota Street, Suite 1400
St. Paul, MN 55101-2131

Penned from–

Members of the Racial Justice Network,
Criminal Justice Subcommittee.

In response and support of Leslie E. Redmond’s recent open letter & call for true justice to fellow CRU Advisory Board Members, Community Stakeholders, and Elected Officials.

You can read Leslie E. Redmond’s letter here.

Dear Governor Walz and Attorney General Ellison,

As members of the Racial Justice Network, we stand in solidarity with attorney and former Minneapolis NAACP President, Leslie E. Redmond. We echo Ms. Redmond’s concerns and we further demand that the Conviction Review Unit show integrity in its mission and take responsibility to ensure that a process is put in place that is fair, equitable, community-centered, and justice-oriented.

Ms. Redmond highlighted major issues surrounding community credibility, integrity, and urgency as it pertains to the advisory board that you have established. As members of the Twin Cities’ community, we have seen similar issues arise time and time again in the way that elected officials in Minnesota handle matters regarding criminal justice.

We stand with Ms. Redmond in her disapproval of who has been chosen to serve on the advisory board. Most notably, we recognize the lack of adequate community representation within this group. There are numerous community members with “lived experiences and proximity to community-based solutions,” as Ms. Redmond put it, who would arguably be more qualified to help correct the omnipresent racial disparities within the criminal justice system in Minnesota.

Additionally, there is no excuse to ignore that one of the most egregious perpetrators of this broken system, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, has a seat at the table. As Ms. Redmond pointed out, he has stood in the way of releasing innocent people from prison, like Myon Burell.

The impact of Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman’s overzealous prosecutions in black and brown communities can be felt all over Hennepin County. Furthermore, he has refused to prosecute white suspects who murdered or seriously injured Black people. We saw this happen recently when Freeman announced that he would not be charging John Rieple with the murder of Calvin Horton.

Mike Freeman should not be allowed to review or participate on any justice reform board.

It is unsettling that Ms. Redmond was corrected when she called this group the “Conviction Integrity Unit,” which is an accepted interchangeable name for a CRU. The word integrity, implies action. Integrity implies responsibility. To prevent innocent people from remaining in prison is integrity; it is justice. That is precisely what we expect from the CRU.

We agree with Ms. Redmond’s call for urgency. With all eyes on Minnesota as an epicenter of the movement toward racial justice, these changes need to be implemented swiftly. Community credibility, integrity, and urgency must be at the forefront of the Conviction Review Unit.

We demand that Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman be immediately removed from this advisory board and replaced with community members that have been impacted by the racist criminal justice system.


Additionally, we stand in solidarity with Ms. Redmond and all of the concerns she outlined in her open letter released on March 17, 2021.



Members of the Racial Justice Network,
Criminal Justice Subcommittee

CC: Conviction Review Unit – Advisory Board Members

We need you to sign the petition.

You do not need to live in Hennepin County in order to sign!