UW Official Advocates Decriminalizing Shoplifting

Yes, your tax dollars are being extracted from you to pay this man.

A UW official’s comments critical of prosecuting shoplifters at “big box” stores have garnered widespread criticism, prompting a statement explaining the remarks.

“I just don’t think that they should be prosecuting cases … for people who steal from Wal-Mart,” said Everett Mitchell, director of community relations at UW, at a panel discussion last week. “I just don’t think that. I don’t think Target or all them other places, the big boxes that have insurance, that they should be using … the fact that people steal from there, justification to start engaging in aggressive police practices.”

Mitchell, who is African-American, is also pastor of Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church and a former prosecutor with the Dane County District Attorney’s Office. He made the comments on Aug. 18 during a discussion on best policing practices at Vilas Hall, which also featured former Madison Police Chief David Couper and Young Gifted and Black organizer M Adams. (See the comments here.)

His remarks, reported the conservative news organization Media Trackers and picked up by the Daily Caller and other publications, drew comments  expressing outrage at Mitchell’s call to let shoplifters off the hook.