Magistrates Refuse To Sign Warrants For Armed Robbers, Rapists, Citing Racism

Judges in Mecklenburg County, led by Chief Magistrate Khalif Rhodes, have stopped issuing most arrest warrants.

Mecklenburg County, NC – Offenders accused of violent crimes in Mecklenburg County are increasingly being issued summonses to appear in court, rather than having warrants issued for their arrest.

Mecklenburg County Chief Magistrate Khalif Rhodes, who is vying for the District Court Judge seat against the county’s senior district attorney, Karen McCallum, said that the bail system punishes low-income people accused of criminal offenses, WFAE reported.

“We as a county have a bail policy that has fundamental issues that directly affects poor people, and if we want to change racial and ethnic disparities… we have to have to make changes to the policy,” Rhodes said during a recent candidate’s forum.

“Our court system has a history of discriminating against people of color,” Rhodes said, according to the Vote411 Voter Guide. “I believe that implicit biases contribute significantly to discrimination. Additionally, those biases lead to disparate impacts on people of color at an alarming rate.”

He and other critics of the traditional bail bond system argue that low-income people who are unable to post bond are being punished before they are convicted, WFAE reported.

They either have to stay in jail, or forfeit a portion of their funds – usually 10 percent of their bail amount – to a bail bondsman.

As a chief magistrate, Rhodes oversees 34 other magistrates who are tasked with deciding whether to issue criminal summonses or arrest warrants. They also often set bail amounts.

This past summer, one of the magistrates issued a summons to a man accused of felony second-degree forcible rape, WFAE reported.

Back in April, two suspects robbed a convenience store at gunpoint, and one was issued a summons to appear in November for court.

In 2017, a magistrate issued a summons to a man accused of felony child abuse. In that case, the victim’s arm was broken. Two weeks later, the child’s knee was burned.

Not only did the magistrate not issue an arrest warrant – the court also failed to include language on the summons prohibiting the man from having contact with the victim.

Chief District Judge Regan Miller, who oversees Rhodes, said he sees nothing wrong with the growing trend of letting people accused of violent crimes walk the streets while their cases are pending.

“It’s a mindset that we have had historically that if you are charged with a crime you should be arrested and put in jail, pending your trial," Miller told WFAE. "That’s really not what constitutionally we are supposed to be doing as judicial officials, so we are trying to change that culture.”

“I can’t say I’ve seen anywhere where it should have been tougher," Miller said of the magistrates’ decisions. "You know, each magistrate or any other judicial official should use their discretion. They are supposed to look at the information in front of them, and decide what’s appropriate to do.”

McCallum vehemently disagreed.

“For those of you who don’t know what summons are, it’s an invitation to court. It’s usually given to kids who are shoplifting or low-level misdemeanors,” she told WFAE. “The district attorneys get calls several times a week from rape victims whose defendants have been given summons."

"I’m all in for bail reform. But violent defendants should not be given summons to court,” McCallum said.

Retired Superior Court Judge Richard Boner said it was “ridiculous” that an arrest warrant wasn’t issued for someone accused of armed robbery.

“The purpose of release conditions is two-fold," Boner told WFAE. "One is to make sure the person will show up for their court appearance, and the second function is to protect the public while the arrestee’s case is pending.”

“Certainly, a summons for a violent crime like armed robbery doesn’t come close to meeting the second objective,” he added.

Even Charlotte defense attorney Bill Powers questioned the leniency being afforded to people accused of violent offenses, WFAE reported.

“I would say, generally speaking, there are some levels of offenses that may give one pause, or at least take an opportunity to scratch your head and ask what’s going on,” Powers told the news outlet.

Comments (34)
No. 1-27
Ronnytx031
Ronnytx031

Why dont we just own up to it and tell our people to quit doing the crimes. People need to be held responsible for their own actions and get off this racial bullshit. We need to start teaching our kids right from wrong when we raise them and if you cant afford to feed yourself dont bring kids into this world that you cant financially take care of.

MFLindsey
MFLindsey

Expecting certain groups of people not to rob and rape is NEVER part of the conversation. Why is that???

Baugh
Baugh

Ummm....yes....a democrat. Imagine that

Gregorious
Gregorious

The purpose of an Arrest Warrant is to remove dangerous criminals from the community until they can appear before a judge who then assesses the danger to the community and the strength of the case. The judge has the option of issuing a Signature Bond for release. That protects those who the judge feels can return to the community until their case has been heard, yet does not cost them any money. Violating a Signature Bond will result in another Arrest Warrant and then a Cash Bond will be placed on the subject and an additional charge of Bail Jumping.

This problem has already been dealt with in the process all the judge has to do is be willing to use it. This judge has a Robin of the Hood complex.

LEO0301
LEO0301

Well, I sure hope a released rapist doesn't make their way into this magistrates house while his wife is home alone.

DieselDawg
DieselDawg

Black Race Privilege. Rules, standards, and laws that apply to others dont apply to them.

walkintall
walkintall

Things just get curiouser and curiouser.

RPG156
RPG156

And all of a sudden, a magistrate running for distrct judge has decided that the LE in Meckenberg County is applying for warrants based on skin color... and this is the first he's heard of it? Seems a little suspicious to me...

SoberProgressive
SoberProgressive

Criminal Acts are committed by individuals / People. Not by specific races, skin colors, religions, socioeconomic groups, etc. And, if you can't grasp that construct, you have no business judging anyone.

angeleyes
angeleyes

i keep thinking that the justice system will actually start to work, but then this kind of thing comes up. Makes me wish i'd have been born a different color so i can have special treatment. the only solution, as i see it, is if he's not voted in, which would entail voting him out so he can no longer do anymore damage to the community.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

I think the best way to do bail reform would be to compensate pre-trial detainees who have charges dropped and/or found not guilty. Maybe $500 each full day and $250 each part day.

Bstn199
Bstn199

"This past summer, one of the magistrates issued a summons to a man accused of felony second-degree forcible rape, WFAE reported." So in this magistrates opinion the victims safety means nothing, other females safety who live in this rapists neighborhood means nothing, all that means anything to this magistrate is that the violent rapist is black and may be poor!! His actions are not because hes black nor because hes poor, he is a violent predator of women because he is scum and feels he has a right to take what he wants from females.....So setting a high bond would be the only appropriate thing to do, giving anyone a break and letting them continue to roam free to victimize others or original victim just because of his/her skin color or bank account size is failing to protect others. If they want to summons low non-violent offenders due to pity then fine, but violent rapists, child abusers, and the like dont get pity and sure as hell shouldnt fet a basic free pass from the magistrates or judges.. Time to put victims 1st!!

Devildog91
Devildog91

So what happens if it was a rich white person that committed the offense? Will this sorry excuse of a magistrate give him a summons to appear too, or issue a warrant? I'm guessing the latter.

Jetpilot
Jetpilot

This past summer, one of the magistrates issued a summons to a man accused of felony second-degree forcible rape, WFAE reported. So what does this say to the “metoo” movement? Such hypocrites.

LordSeamus
LordSeamus

Good way to drop the crime rate huh ? Also a good way to get the criminal element to vote for him.......sigh

cspcapt
cspcapt

Hey a new thought-don't commit the crime and you will not have to worry about bond!

LostAllSanity
LostAllSanity

I understand the argument but anyone that has committed a violent offense that is likely to put the community or victims at-risk should be removed and secured - rich or poor. Are you going to give a shooter that just killed ten children in a school a citation? I hope not and if you do, the municipality and magistrate are complicit.

JBo
JBo

Yes sir...I understand I'm charged with forcible rape, armed robbery and child abuse but I pinky swear and cross my heart that I'll appear for court.

Stanracer
Stanracer

Far too many criminals are walking the steets.👎

61mouse
61mouse

That's because most people of color commit the crimes

Andrewfurb44
Andrewfurb44

I hope the next victim to a criminal allowed to be free to commit even more serious crimes is Magistrate Rhodes or one of his colleagues. Then we'll see a change in the "culture". Glad I don't live in Charlotte anymore.

redbear
redbear

Very stupid judgement. Violent crime should be treated as such for the safety of the people.

Caprice56
Caprice56

Simple solution. Remove him from the bench. You are refusing to do your job, if you cannot or will not do said job, you are terminated.

J10107
J10107

This story is APPALLING!!!

Khalif Rhodes, a married man, father of four, which includes three little girls, and an officer of the court, finds it appropriate to let violent offenders roam the streets of North Carolina solely because, the offenders are people of color.

So when these offenders commit their next RAPE or ARMED ROBBERY, how the hell are these judges going to justify their actions???

And how do we as a lawful society allow these judges to offer up our family and friends for slaughter???

Do we try to console and explain to the families of Future Victims that the judges merely refused to follow the code of judicial conduct, or respect and comply with the law, or better yet, to just be faithful to the law and maintain a professional competence in the laws he or she was elected or appointed to adjudicate????

I hope and pray that Regan Miller, who oversees Rhodes, and every violent crime summons issuing judge, all LOSE THEIR JOBS during the next election!!!

Caroparks53
Caroparks53

typical charlotte is a liberal city, I am so excited the republican convention will be held there..gonna b very interesting to watch these idiots riot, burn, loot, then this idiot can issue summons..what a joke, he is putting innocent unaware individuals at danger from these scum.. Mecklenburg cty better get rid of him before convention or it will not be good..for any people..

NYPD_retired
NYPD_retired

Well there goes my vacation plans for Mecklenburg County, NC. My only question is does the go for the non “ people of color “ ? Just saying ...

pbm4jc
pbm4jc

so if you are a female, she can tell any lie and people have to believer her. if you are a colored person, no matter what they do, it's racism. so all the criminals walk. good logic. i wonder how long that city will last.