With few options, the lawyer for Antonio Frasion Jenkins Jr. hopes a Hennepin County judge will lower his bail Friday so he can get out of the Hennepin County jail and try to get the tattoo removed in a show of good faith.
"Sometimes people get tattoos that they regret," said his attorney, Cindy McCollum. "I think he's probably not alone in that."
Jenkins, 20, was charged in November for terroristic threats after he posted a Facebook photo of a homemade tattoo on his left biceps, according to a criminal complaint. The tattoo depicts a person with a handgun with the barrel partially in the mouth of a pig dressed as a police officer. It includes the misspelled name and badge number of a Minneapolis officer and an expletive directed at police.
The officer is a 22-year police veteran and a member of the gang investigation team. According to the complaint, the officer considered the post a threat against his life. Jenkins told police he was angry at the officer for an incident from last summer, the complaint says. Jenkins' relatives said that the officer has long harassed Jenkins and his family.
"The court obviously can't force him to remove the tattoo, but he has been considering that right from the start," McCollum said.
McCollum had spoken with Jenkins' parole officer about a state-funded program administered by the Boys and Girls Club of the Twin Cities in partnership with Neighborhood House, the Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center and St. Paul police. The gang prevention program, which includes tattoo removal, is designed to help young people at risk of gang involvement.
But it had a wait list, and Jenkins was unable to get in the program by the time its funds are expected to run out next month, McCollum said. The group of organizations hopes to receive renewed funding to continue the program, said Terryl McKaye, a spokeswoman for the Boys and Girls Club.
McCollum said she also asked a few doctors to remove the tattoo for free, with no luck.
McCollum asked Tuesday that Jenkins' bail be reduced from $60,000 to $5,000. It can take from $400 to $2,000 and several treatments to get a tattoo removed, McCollum said. Jenkins' family has indicated it will try to help with the costs.
Nicole Norfleet 612-673-4495 Twitter: @stribnorfleet
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