How Quintez Brown went from BLM rising star to accused shooter

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How Quintez Brown went from BLM rising star to accused shooter

The mom of Quintez Brown — the Black Lives Matter rising star charged last week with firing a gun at a mayoral candidate in Louisville — said her son underwent a change after enrolling at the University of Kentucky three years ago.

“It’s all been since he started college,” Cecilia Brown told The Post about her son, who was once honored by President Obama and appeared on MSNBC to push gun control. “I haven’t really heard from him. He’s always busy. He’s been living with his dad. I don’t know what was on his mind. Only God can judge that.”

Despite Brown’s mysterious disappearance from Louisville last June — he was reportedly found by his dad on a bench in Brooklyn nearly two weeks later — and his increasing social media interest in revolutionary communism and black nationalism, family and friends from the local chapter of Black Lives Matter alluded to only vague “emotional issues” he might have had.

Brown’s Twitter account has since been deleted, but he posted support of the Lion of Judah Armed Forces on the Instagram account he created last December when announcing a run for the Louisville metro council.

Lion of Judah is an armed, militant group similar to the Black Hebrew Israelites who espouse an ideology that African-Americans, not Jews, are the true descendants of the Biblical Hebrews.

Lion of Judah has been identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.

Quintez Brown allegedly fired multiple shots from a 9mm handgun at Craig Greenberg in the candidate's Louisville, Ky., campaign headquarters on Feb. 14.
Quintez Brown allegedly fired multiple shots from a 9mm handgun at Craig Greenberg in the candidate’s Louisville, Ky., campaign headquarters on Feb. 14.
Getty Images

Louisville Metro Police Chief Erika Shields told reporters that police did not yet have a motive to explain the shooting, but pointed out that Craig Greenberg, the victim, “is Jewish, so there’s that. We don’t know if it’s tied to the candidates or is political or if we are dealing with someone with mental issues or is venomous,” Shields said. “We are looking at this from all angles.”

On Feb. 14, Brown allegedly walked into the campaign headquarters of Greenberg and fired multiple shots at him using a 9mm handgun. No one was hurt, but a bullet grazed Greenberg’s sweater and shirt.

Police said Brown was found with a loaded 9mm magazine in his pocket and a handgun, handgun case and additional magazines inside a bag.

Brown, who was himself running for a seat on the Louisville metro council, pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and four counts of first-degree wanton endangerment.

Chanelle Helm co-founded the Black Lives Matter chapter in Louisville that put up Brown's bond money. She told The Post: "We're trying to figure out what happened to him while everyone else is vilifying him."
Chanelle Helm co-founded the Black Lives Matter chapter in Louisville that put up Brown’s bond money and told The Post: “We’re trying to figure out what happened to him while everyone else is vilifying him.”
WAVE

His lawyer appeared in court Wednesday in Louisville. Both the prosecutors and Eggert agreed to waive preliminary hearings and take the case straight to the grand jury March 21-22. Brown appeared by video conference.

He is close to another mayoral candidate, pastor Tim Findley, who is running against Greenberg. A source close to the mayoral campaign in Louisville told the Post that Findley focused much of his campaign rhetoric against Greenberg in his social media posts, some of which have apparently been deleted.

Findley, who has been active in protests in Louisville, said he believes his rivalry with Greenberg had nothing to do with Brown allegedly shooting the candidate.

“Quintez is a son of the city,” Findley told The Post. “He’s brilliant but we know there were emotional issues. It’s very sad because what I saw was a bright shining star. He represented what we wanted to see in our young people.”

“He needs to get mental health support,” Chanelle Helm, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter in Louisville who has known Brown since joined the group at age 16, told The Post but declined to be more specific about his issues.

Brown, a 21-year-old college senior who wrote op-ed columns for the Courier-Journal, the state’s biggest newspaper, was called a “high achieving golden boy” by a college professor.

Brown is accused of firing a 9mm handgun several times at Louisville mayoral candidate Craig Greenberg.
Brown is accused of firing a 9mm handgun several times at Louisville mayoral candidate Craig Greenberg.
Alton Strupp/Courier Journal

Prior to the shooting Brown suffered a “mental breakdown” and had not slept for “days or weeks,” said his lawyer, Rob Eggert. Brown was freed two days later after a local BLM chapter posted $100,000 bond. He has been fitted with a GPS ankle monitor and is confined to his father’s home.

His release prompted a public outcry, with Senator Mitch McConnell calling it “jaw-dropping.” David James, the African-America president of the Louisville Metro Council, said the Louisville Community Bail Fund should not have bailed Brown out of jail: “They are going to be responsible for what he may or may not do to anybody.”

“It is nearly impossible to believe that someone can attempt murder on Monday and walk out of jail on Wednesday,” Greenberg told the Courier-Journal. “If someone is struggling with a mental illness and is in custody, they should be evaluated and treated in custody.”

Helm, who founded the BLM chapter that put up the bond money for Brown, defended the decision.

After Brown was released on $100,000 bail, some in the community were upset, including David James, the African-America president of the Louisville Metro Council,
After Brown was released on $100,000 bail, some in the community were upset, including David James, the African American president of the Louisville Metro Council.
WAVE

“You have to look at where he’s coming from,” Helm told The Post. “He grew up in West Louisville, where people are deprived of resources for things like mental health. He’s a brilliant writer and an excellent organizer. But we have so many people suffering in this city from fascism and racism.

“Mental illness doesn’t come out of the blue. We’re trying to figure out what happened to him while everyone else is vilifying him.”

Brown mysteriously disappeared from Louisville last June, only to be found by his worried dad, Jacob Daugherty, in Brooklyn 11 days later, according to the father’s social media. At the time, Daugherty and Brown’s stepmother told local press that their son might be going through a mental health crisis and pleaded with the public for help to find him. They said he vanished after having an altercation at a local swimming pool.

They were critical of the Louisville Metro Police Department at the time, saying they were ill-equipped” to help find him.

Brown gained national recognition as a social justice activist in 2018, the year he started college, after speaking about gun reform with Joy-Ann Reid on the host's MSNBC show.
Brown gained national recognition as a social justice activist in 2018, the year he started college, after speaking about gun reform with Joy-Ann Reid on the host’s MSNBC show.
Michael Clevenger/Courier Journa

Brown gained national recognition as a social justice activist in 2018, the year he started college, after speaking about gun reform with Joy-Ann Reid on the host’s MSNBC show.

The Obama Foundation tabbed him as a “rising face,” and Brown broke bread with Rev. Al Sharpton and Democratic Senator Charles Booker, who praised him as a “brilliant scholar.”

One month ago Brown published on Medium.com “A Revolutionary Love Letter” invoking Huey Newton, co-founder of the Black Panthers, and Kwame Ture, né Stokely Carmichael, also a Black Panther and a leader of the global Pan-African movement.

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