Activist suspected of shooting at Louisville mayoral candidate pleads not guilty to federal charges

Quintez Brown, a racial justice activist, faces a life sentence after being federally indicted for allegedly shooting at Louisville mayoral candidate, Craig Greenberg.

Louisville, Kentucky activist Quintez Brown on Friday pleaded not guilty after a federal grand jury indicted him for allegedly shooting at a Democratic mayoral candidate.

According to The Louisville Courier-Journal, Brown faces a life sentence after being charged with interfering with a federally protected right and using and discharging a firearm in relation to a crime of violence. He is accused of shooting at and attempting to kill Craig Greenberg, a candidate for elective office. 

Making his first federal court appearance on Friday, Brown filed the plea through his legal team in attendance, including defense attorney Rob Eggert, who said on Thursday that the indictment had racial and political motivations, the outlet reported.

Also representing Brown was defense attorney Patrick Renn, who later accused the Greenberg campaign of exploiting the shooting case for political gain.

During the trial, Magistrate Judge Colin Lindsay reportedly ordered Brown to appear at a follow-up hearing at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 15, until which Brown will be detained.

Representatives of the Greenberg campaign did not immediately respond to the Courier-Journal’s request for comment.

Footage allegedly showing Brown firing at Greenberg on Wednesday, Feb. 14 was used in a campaign advertisement for the candidate, which Renn criticized strongly during the hearing, per the Courier-Journal.

The ad additionally featured emergency dispatch audio and photographs depicting the scene, none of which had been officially released by the police department, the outlet reported.

“We are lucky that we made it, and that everybody in that room is safe and can move forward together,” says Greenberg’s wife, Rachel, during the minute-long TV spot, per the outlet. 

She continues: “Many people that are struck by violence don’t have that luxury. Craig understands that, and as mayor, Craig is ready to take action.”

Per the Courier-Journal, photos of bullet holes in what is reportedly Greenberg’s office wall, and of Greenberg wearing a sweater with a reported bullethole torn in it while standing aside Louisville Metro Police officers are shown in the ad as well.

The ad additionally frames the event in the context of Louisville’s “violent crime crisis,” the Courier-Journal reported.

Renn accused the campaign of strategically airing the commercial soon after being “tipped off to the timing” of Brown’s arrest on the evening of Feb. 14, “because the commercial started … the same day as the arrest here.” 

The outlet reported that further political attention was brought to the case when Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell publicly complained about Brown being released on home incarceration and about the fact that a nonprofit was able to post his $100,000 bail. McConnell’s office has not responded to requests for comment.

As previously reported, on the night of Feb. 14, Brown allegedly went to Craig Greenberg’s campaign headquarters and began firing at the Democratic mayoral hopeful and his staffers, who managed to close the door and hide under desks. 

Per reports, Brown was apprehended less than a half-mile from the office carrying a loaded 9mm magazine in his pocket. He was also in possession of a handgun, a case and additional magazines, per previous theGrio reporting. According to Eggert, he was dragged from his grandmother’s home dressed in pajamas as a helicopter circled overhead.

Eggert has maintained that mental health issues were the root cause of the alleged violent actions of the young racial justice activist, per reports.

Two days after the shooting, Brown was released from jail after the Louisville Community Bail Fund posted a $100,000 bail. The local group raises money to free defendants in criminal cases and connect them with pretrial support resources, the Courier-Journal reported.

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