Ramsey County prosecutors and defense attorneys for Mike Forcia, the activist who tore down a Christopher Columbus statue on capitol property in June, reached a plea agreement on December 7 that will have Forcia perform 100 hours of community service, write a letter acknowledging the damage he caused, and remain on probation for one year.
Senator Scott Newman (R-Hutchinson), chair of the Senate Transportation Committee that led a series of hearings investigating the riots and lawlessness this summer, issued the following statement:
“On December 5, the Star Tribune ran a story that Minnesota continues to pay $80,000 per month for fencing around the capitol because law enforcement is worried about the risks of violence and vandalism on capitol grounds. On December 7, prosecutors gave the most prominent destroyer of capitol property what amounts to a slap on the wrist.
“Is it really surprising that law enforcement is concerned about more destruction of property or violence at the capitol when those who have committed it in the past are allowed to get off virtually scot-free? Anyone who has been a parent, or even has a little bit of common sense, knows that you have to punish bad behavior or else that bad behavior will continue. This weak plea bargain does nothing more than invite further vandalism.”