A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Louisville activist Quintez Brown, sprung from jail through a BLM-supported bail fund after allegedly attempting to assassinate a Democratic mayoral candidate before he was rearrested on new federal charges last month, will not be freed again before trial.
In a 16-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Benjamin Beaton summarized evidence supporting that Brown is a continued danger and flight risk, granting the government’s appeal to Magistrate Judge Colin Lindsay’s previous release order, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported. He ordered Brown’s continued detention while awaiting trial.
Brown is accused of attempting to murder Louisville mayoral candidate Craig Greenberg on the morning of Feb. 14, 2022, by opening fire at his campaign office while Greenberg and four staffers were inside. Beaton noted how Brown knows where the victim lives and even visited the home where Greenberg's wife and young son also reside the night before the Valentine’s Day alleged assassination attempt.
Prosecutors say Brown came so close to succeeding that Greenberg’s sweater was ripped by a bullet. The floor and the baseboard behind the chair where Greenberg was sitting contained six bullet holes, and bullets went through the wall into the next-door office of a wedding planning business.
In pleading for the judge to keep Brown in federal custody, U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett noted how the defendant "has strong family ties, was once an excellent student who received a scholarship to the University of Louisville and has lived in Louisville his entire life."
"Even with strong family and personal ties, however, the defendant was able to secretly plot to kill a mayoral candidate and nearly succeeded in his attempt," Bennett wrote. "He was promising, excelled in school, was a voice of the community, and yet he was capable of surprising everyone with his violent actions."
Surveillance video shows Brown entering the building before the shooting and fleeing right after, according to court documents. He was arrested soon after less than a half mile away, and officers say they found a loaded firearm in his pocket and a second gun used in the shooting in his backpack.
Court documents unsealed last week allege Brown’s assassination plot began in January when he published an article on Medium.com entitled "A Revolutionary Love Letter" announcing, "Our situation is one of political warfare" and "Voting and petitioning will not be sufficient for our liberation."
Two days later, he purchased a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ and took his new firearm to the shooting range, where he practiced loading, shooting and aiming the gun.
His first public display of hostility toward Greenberg, who was rising as the front-runner in the race, came when Brown reposted a social media composite image depicting the candidate engulfed in flames and perched on another person’s shoulder, captioned by the hashtag "gentrification is violence."
A day before the Valentine’s Day shooting, court documents allege Brown used a ride-share app to travel to Greenberg’s home, where the candidate and his wife and young son live. But Brown’s subsequent search records suggest his gun stalled, and he purchased a Glock 9mm pistol at a Louisville pawn shop the next morning before heading for Greenberg’s campaign office.
That morning, records show Brown also researched a second politician, Bill Dieruf, a Republican mayor of nearby Jeffersontown, Kentucky.
Brown was released from jail after a Black Lives Matter supported bail fund shelled out $100,000 for his bond.
He was ordered held under home incarceration until he was re-arrested last month on new federal charges of interfering with a federally protected right and using and discharging a firearm in relation to a crime of violence by shooting at and attempting to kill a candidate for elective office. He faces state charges of attempted murder and wanton endangerment to which he’s pleaded not guilty.