Minneapolis: Community Support Wins Lighter Sentence for Targeted Political Prisoner, Tom Moseley

by Michael Nolan

A federal judge sentenced anti-police brutality activist Tom Moseley on Wednesday to 90 days in a halfway house and two years of probation for charges resulting from his participation in the May Uprisings following the murder of George Floyd. In the face of heightened repression by the federal government, Moseley’s sentence, which does not include prison time, represents a victory for his supporters who fought for more lenient sentencing by highlighting Moseley’s service to the people.

Many family members of people murdered by police were present in the courtroom in support of Moseley during the sentencing, in addition to Minneapolis civil rights lawyer Nekima Levy-Armstrong. Moseley has dedicated himself to organizing the families of victims of police violence and said this work “was reciprocated and that mutual support played a huge role in a more reasonable sentence rather than imprisonment.”

Within minutes of the public announcement of a dial-in option for the hearing, the court’s phone began ringing relentlessly from supporters trying to join remotely, leading to a delay in the start of the hearing. The judge also received numerous letters of support for Moseley and the positive impact he has made on the community. Moseley told Tribune that he sees that the awareness brought to his case by the Drop the Charges coalition, who organizes to support arrestees from the May Uprisings, played an important role as well.

Moseley emphasized to Tribune the importance of supporting political prisoners. “As far as what I’ve learned, supporting our people is crucial. If I had no letters, no support, and no support other than my relatives and close friends, I think the outcome would definitely have been different.”

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