In 2020, James Jumping Eagle, a well-known criminal and registered sex offender who sexually abused a minor, was arrested and charged for possession of LSD in Pennington County, South Dakota. Local law-enforcement authorities had signed a controversial deal in exchange for large grants promising to drastically reduce the number of people incarcerated in the local jail — especially if the people to be jailed were non-white. Jumping Eagle, a Native American, was released from jail, public records show, but did not turn up when required, so a bench warrant was issued. The charges could have carried years behind bars.
Just a few months after his arrest and release, though, on February 10, Jumping Eagle allegedly broke into the home of 82-year-old Reta McGovern and brutally murdered her. The convicted sex offender then fled back to an Indian reservation that has no extradition agreement with local authorities. It was not clear what the relationship was, if any, between the alleged murderer and the great grandmother of 15 children. But many locals believe McGovern would still be alive today if Jumping Eagle had not been released from jail earlier under pressure from quotas established by the grant. The case was sealed, so it has become very difficult to get information.
This is hardly limited to Pennington County. In dozens of communities across America, crime is rising or even surging, and criminals who would normally be behind bars are roaming free terrorizing neighborhoods and innocent citizens. Dubious racial quotas are being used to determine who goes to jail and who stays free. And the decisions making it possible are happening behind closed doors, funded by big bucks from an unaccountable leftwing organization in Chicago with leaders tied to radical movements — including one key official tied to a movement aimed openly at abolishing police across America.
One of the key forces behind this disturbing trend is the MacArthur Foundation, a tax-exempt behemoth with some $7 billion that is showering huge grants on police departments and law-enforcement agencies nationwide. But the money is not free. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Instead, MacArthur is buying drastic policy changes, outside of the democratic process and the reach of voters, that the public would be unlikely to support. Critics have decried the resulting politicization of law enforcement by such private interests, too. And yet it continues nationwide.
By its own admission, one of the foundation’s goals with the nearly $250 million spent so far on “Safety and Justice Challenge” is to reduce the number of criminals behind bars in communities across America. They point out that the United States has more people in jail than any nation on Earth, and that this is tremendously expensive. They also highlight the fact that black and Latino men tend to be incarcerated at rates higher than white Americans, and that jailing people can destroy families and careers. That is all true, of course.
And yet, there are good reasons why the American people’s elected representatives at the state and federal level have passed laws to get thieves, rapists, murderers, drug peddlers, gang bangers and other dangerous individuals off the streets. And there are good reasons why Americans of all ethnic backgrounds support those laws. If and when Americans become dissatisfied with those laws, there are simple tools for communities and states to change them using the democratic process.
But MacArthur Foundation thinks it knows better than communities and their elected officials. Among the key self-proclaimed goals of its “Safety and Justice” scheme is changing the way Americans think about jails and drastically reducing the number of people sitting in them. Another critical objective is ending what the left-wing foundation claims is the overrepresentation of “communities of color” in the criminal justice system.
This starts from the false assumption — a false assumption that is ubiquitous in the foundation’s work even beyond its criminal-justice programs — that the reason people from “communities of color” are arrested and jailed more often is because of racism in police and government. But countless studies and reports have pointed out the flawed thinking behind the idea that alleged “systemic racism” is responsible for the issue.
In any case, the ultra-liberal foundation’s primary mechanism for injecting its racialist ideology into law enforcement and policing is known as the MacArthur Safety and Justice Challenge. According to the outfit’s website, this program provides funding for projects nationwide that involve “creating fairer, more effective local justice systems using innovative, collaborative, and evidence-based solutions.”
In other words, changing policy and systems with big money rather than through the legislative process and public debate. Launched more than five years ago, the scheme has over 50 jurisdictions in more than 30 states involved already. A massive “communications campaign” designed to peddle its narrative and stir up the American people is an integral part of the plan. But the public knows little about the shadowy money flows changing government policy in their communities.
While crime levels nationally have been generally decreasing slightly over the last five years, with the COVID chaos complicating matters more recently, the data in some of the cities receiving MacArthur grants actually showed increases in crime. That is despite the fact that critics of the MacArthur schemes say the grants are encouraging police and authorities to overlook some crimes and seek lesser charges on others.
In some cases, such as New Orleans, Louisiana, the surge in crime levels was drastic, with violence exploding. Philadelphia, another major recipient of MacArthur grants (where even the prosecutor has been backed by billionaire leftist George Soros’ “Safety and Justice” grants), saw 500 homicides last year — the second highest ever recorded and the highest in more than 30 years. This year is on track to be even worse.
On its Facebook page, however, the MacArthur program operatives and its partners defended their view that reducing jail populations would not cause increases in crime. “Narratives connecting these reforms to rising crime rates are misleading and damaging,” the page claimed, with out providing details but citing supposed “data” obtained through MacArthur Safety and Justice Challenge’s controversial data-gathering operations.
Rapid City, South Dakota: A Test Case
Jumping Eagle’s murder of an 82-year-old grandma is just the tip of the iceberg in one of the areas hit hard by the MacArthur Foundation’s meddling in law enforcement. In Rapid City, South Dakota, where Pennington County became one of 20 initial jurisdictions chosen for the plan, the criminal justice system there has received an infusion of millions of dollars from the foundation. Obviously, there were strings attached. And the fruit is becoming clear, locals say.
The purpose of the initial grant, according to the agreement obtained by the Intelligence Brief, was to create a plan to “target jail misuse and overuse as part of a network of sites participating in the Safety and Justice Challenge.” The “criminal justice reform” scheme’s goal, it continues, is to “reduce over-incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails.” Local judges and law-enforcement officials all signed off.
Among the strings attached to the grant were demands that, under the guise of “racial justice” and “equity,” more and more criminals be released from detention and less people be placed there. Despite the ongoing surge in crime, local authorities agreed to obey the foundation’s quotas by ensuring almost 25 percent less people in local jails. The effects soon became obvious, and local law-enforcement officers are feeling the pain.
The situation is now so bad that, according to Crime Grade, which rates cities based on how safe or dangerous they are, downtown Rapid City received an F, the worst possible grade. The numbers speak for themselves. Rapes, assaults, auto thefts, and other forms of violent crime have been on the rise since the MacArthur meddling began. The increase in crime is even more pronounced when compared with the U.S. average.
Locals have noticed. “Recent statistics from the Police Department in Rapid City show many serious juvenile crimes such as weapons violations, assaults, and robbery,” said retired U.S. military serviceman EJ Manzano, a local activist in Rapid City with Citizens for Liberty working with state lawmakers who has extensively studied the effect of the MacArthur grants in his community. “Yet very few of these young offenders receive consequences through the criminal justice system.”
“Rather, they go to community diversion programs due to MacArthur Foundation requirements to reduce incarceration rates among specific ethnic groups,” explained Manzano, who also chairs the Black Hills War Monument Committee. “So in Rapid City SD arrest and incarceration rates are way down, yet crime is way up.”
One of the very revealing facts highlighted by Manzano involves “Square One Justice.” MacArthur Foundation Criminal Justice Director Laurie Garduque is a Square One Justice executive committee member. The Pennington County sheriff whose jurisdiction includes Rapid City, meanwhile, is listed as a Square One “expert.” And yet, Square One is closely linked to Columbia University’s so-called “Abolition Democracy” movement, which is literally and openly working to abolish police departments nationwide.
Local activists and leaders seeking to get information and documents about the MacArthur program have had a difficult time due to the opaque nature of the grant. Incredibly, authorities concluded that meetings with the foundation and many documents related to the program are not public records subject to freedom of information because MacArthur is not a “political subdivision.” The Foundation also carefully works with local jurisdictions to manage communications with the media, fomenting even more suspicion among local communities targeted under the program.
Continue reading this intelligence report at the Law Enforcement Intelligence Brief, which goes to every police chief and sheriff in America each quarter.