Montez Terriel Lee Jr. broke into a Minnesota pawnshop, poured gasoline, and then burned the building to the ground, and two months later Oscar Lee Stewart, was found in the rubble. Lee claimed he looked around to make sure no one was in the building before he torched it. Evidently, he did not look around enough. Joe Biden and Merrick Garland’s DOJ decided the normal punishment for murder was too much, after all, he was protesting.
The penalty for the crime is normally 200 months in prison, but because he was protesting and not rioting, he got 7 years cut from his sentence. The memo the DOJ put out could have been written by Lee’s mother. It made his act seem somewhat noble. Could you see this happening if it was something other than a BLM riot? (Note: The killer was white and the victim was Black)
US Attorney W. Anders Folk recommended less time because of the “motives” behind the arson and killing:
“Mr. Lee’s motive for setting the fire is a foremost issue. Mr. Lee credibly states that he was in the streets to protest unlawful police violence against black men, and there is no basis to disbelieve this statement. Mr. Lee, appropriately, acknowledges that he ‘could have demonstrated in a different way,’ but that he was ‘caught up in the fury of the mob after living as a black man watching his peers suffer at the hands of police.’”
“Arson in particular is an inherently dangerous and unpredictable felony offense. The arsonist who sets a building ablaze cannot know the extent of the damage or death he or she will cause—the crime is by its nature chaotic and uncontrollable. Surrounding homes and businesses may be inadvertently destroyed; firefighters, people trapped in buildings, or the arsonist him or herself may be killed,” the memo continued. “In this case, Mr. Stewart paid the cost for Mr. Lee’s flagrantly dangerous disregard for others. Mr. Lee states that he checked the building before he set the fire to make sure no one would be hurt. If true, this is at least some small measure of precaution. But as the evidence makes clear, it was woefully inadequate. Mr. Lee’s check of the building did not save Oscar Stewart’s life; nor would it have been effective in saving the lives of any firefighters had they become trapped; nor would it have saved the lives and property of nearby neighbors if the wind carried the conflagration to their homes.”
“As anyone watching the news worldwide knows, many other people in Minnesota were similarly caught up,” the memo stated. “There appear to have been many people in those days looking only to exploit the chaos and disorder in the interests of personal gain or random violence. There appear also to have been many people who felt angry, frustrated, and disenfranchised, and who were attempting, in many cases in an unacceptably reckless and dangerous manner, to give voice to those feelings. Mr. Lee appears to be squarely in this latter category.”