It’s not a trap.
People with a low-level arrest warrant in Hennepin County can go to a south Minneapolis community center on Saturday and potentially see the charges dismissed in exchange for a few hours of community service. The event is part of Warrant Forgiveness Day, which organizers hope will keep people who don’t pose a risk to public safety out of jail, saving taxpayers the $132 a day to keep them there.
Still, when the people running Warrant Forgiveness Day try to explain it, they often hear: It’s a trap.
“If anyone gets arrested at the scene … claim entrapment,” one Facebook user wrote.
“[It’s a] trap,” wrote another.
“This is not a setup for mass arrest,” said Jana Kooren, public education and communications director for the Minnesota ACLU, one of the groups organizing the event.
Those eligible include people with misdemeanor arrest warrants issued after they failed to appear at a court hearing. Some of those people could get those warrants dismissed, along with the underlying criminal charge, by completing community service that day. Others can get another court date scheduled.
People with felony warrants, domestic violence and DWI warrants are not eligible. However, even if someone with a warrant shows up and is ineligible for forgiveness, they won’t be arrested, Kooren said.
If the event is successful, Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal said there could be others in different parts of the city.
Walk-ins and appointments are available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Sabathani Community Center, 310 E. 38th St. in Minneapolis. Those interested may call Hennepin County District Court at (612) 348-2040 to verify their warrant status and to learn more about the event.
Brandon Stahl • 612-673-4626