City Attorney says racist note not a chargeable crime


Photo credit: Benjamin Pecka

Last November a racist note — signed “The Confederate States of America” — was allegedly slipped under a faculty member’s door at MCTC by Matthew Alton Brown, 39. The Minneapolis City Attorney’s office eventually decided not to press any charges.

The act coincided with multiple anonymous reports of hate speech on campus that left students reportedly on edge and school administrators struggling to effectively respond to those reports.

No charges brought in MCTC incident

According to a document written by Sgt. Groove of the Minneapolis Police Department, Groove and Minneapolis City Attorney Paula Kruchowski Barrette determined that the “incident does not rise to the level of any chargeable crime.”

So far, there is only a trespass order for Brown, who at one time had a parking pass at the MCTC parking ramp, at MCTC according to Public Safety Supervisor Mark Deree. Deree said the order is expiring Nov. 10 but that Public Safety will be renewing it for another year. If Brown violates the trespass order, Public Safety will perform a citizens arrest of Brown but it is up to the Minneapolis Police Department to charge Brown with a crime, according to Deree.

A media relations coordinator for the city of Minneapolis said that the note incident was part of a “bigger felony stalking investigation” that Brown was later convicted of.

Faculty member happy with result

The faculty member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to privacy concerns, said they were happy with the way that the case played out but that they were still fearful of other racist or Islamophobic people.

“I feel like this person took the extra step to put this in writing but it was definitely not the first time someone said things like that,” said the faculty member. “I didn’t think much about it [at first], I’m like ok, it’s just one other thing where my bosses [and] public safety were all freaking out and I think it didn’t really hit me until the next day because that was actually after Trump was elected,” they said.

The faculty member mentioned being concerned while watching the election on TV and realizing the amount of people in Minnesota that were willing to vote for Trump.

“Oh my gosh, this is reality,” they said.

The MCTC administration’s response to the note was swift, said the faculty member.

“They were amazing, starting from my boss to her boss [names redacted for privacy concerns]. They came to meet with me as well as Dr. Jay [and] Public Safety Director Curt Schmidt. They all came and they made it a priority and they got on it. So they were very prompt. They were amazing. They have been incredible. They have just been really as a support but also making sure this doesn’t happen again,” said the faculty member.

Brown has a pattern of Islamphobic and stalking behavior

During this time, Brown was also embroiled in a similar — but more extreme — case where Brown was accused of stalking a woman of Somalian descent.

During the course of almost a year, Brown followed the woman (whose name was withheld from court documents and incident reports) around her workplace and Minneapolis to ask her on a date along with leaving notes and making comments that included phrases like “Go back to your own country” and that the woman should “Merry [sic] a white non-muslim [sic] guy about your age” according to court documents.

Brown was later convicted of Statue 609.749.5(a) Stalking – Pattern of Stalking Conduct – a felony – June 29 for these incidents. Brown was placed on supervised probation for three years, ordered to give up any firearms, given a no trespass order that included an area of downtown Minneapolis and the Mall of America in Bloomington and to complete an autism evaluation.