Click here for a PDF of the criminal complaint.
Winning Or Is It Losing The Bail Lottery?
When I saw a MILLION DOLLARS BAIL for Jamar Maurice Clavon on the Hennepin County Jail roster some months back, I wondered what sort of wild and colorful crimes he might be accused of committing and, truthfully, given the high amount of bail I pictured something involving hand grenades.
Turns out he was armed with...TWO ROCKS. Allegedly.
And the mere verbal threat of a...
...future knife purchase. Allegedly.
Can You Sharpen An Alleged Knife With A Reported Rock?
Well, I say "allegedly" but Clavon is already sitting in prison as of July 22, 2014 on a conviction of attempted burglary, which does appear to be part of the charging document linked above. HOWEVER, the terroristic threat charge was dismissed. Yet the fact he was armed with two rocks, that's still a CREDIBLE REPORTED FACT even if he wasn't convicted of any intent to use the rocks.
So given the messed up facts here--the burglary and the scary things uttered (allegedly?) as part of one messy and continuous event, the discovery of the rocks by police officers (ah ha! This man has ROCKS!) but then the bifurcating of the allegations and conviction upon one thing, dismissal upon another (but does that make the rocks fade from existence as unproven "alleged rocks?" I think NOT!) how precisely to employ that term "allegedly?"
See, I don't want to say "allegedly" over that which is proven.
On the other hand, I don't want to assert as fact that which is not proven and must prudently cleave to that word "allegedly."
So from an abundance of caution I am going to treat the criminal complaint linked above as something he "allegedly" did but I will point out he was ONLY convicted of the burglary charge. (But he WAS convicted of THAT, so THAT is not an allegation)
The really interesting aspect of the charge, from my point of view, is that it's possible to rack up a million dollar bail while being armed (allegedly!) no better than the Biblical figure of Cain who slew Abel.
Threats Of Future Economic Activity?
So according to the criminal complaint linked above on March 26, 2014 at 6:30 PM Clavon showed up at the home of his former girlfriend and tried to force his way inside. When the victim called the police Clavon left, but continued to threaten her by text message including (allegedly!) a particularly worrisome line about how he he was going to "buy a knife" and nobody would find her body.
First, that's just awful.
But second, I have to ask...is that really a threat?
I mean, if there's the intervening necessity of a future purchase involved to carry out the threat? Well, then I think about it and ask myself how hard is it to buy a knife? And how is that kind of utterance different than "I will go home and get my knife." Yes, some intermediate action is necessary to carry out the threat, and one's vehicle could break down on the way to fetch the knife or one's credit card may be declined at Ye Olde Knife Store (a wholly owned subsidiary of The Sharper Image?) but it hardly removes the threat, does it?
All the same...a MILLION DOLLARS BAIL? Over a knife and TWO LARGE ROCKS? I'm getting to the part about the two large rocks...
Officers located the defendant a short distance away, and that's when he reportedly said, "You're lucky you caught me. I was going to kill her tonight." The defendant is also accused of threatening the lives of the officers, but there are no direct quotes in the criminal complaint.
On his person, defendant had a cell phone and TWO LARGE ROCKS.
Let the record reflect the rocks were LARGE.
Lost Eighth Amendment Argument
The Minnesota Department of Corrections website shows Clavon will be released in November of 2015 but will remain on probation until 2016. So it appears any interesting legal argument that could have been made about excessive bail has been...
The Twin Brooklyns
The defendant's home address is listed in Brooklyn Center. I keep telling my friends and neighbors that I am detecting a subtle shift in North Minneapolis crime data toward "The Two Brooklyns" (Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center) but so far it seems like I'm the only one who sees it.
The trend I think I see is not so much where crime is being committed, but where those who are accused of committing the crimes report their home addresses. That is where I see the subtle shift toward "The Two Brooklyns."
I plan to treat readers to another example soon. Watch.