Cities That Feed Virginia's Deadliest Jail Lock Up Hundreds Over Simple Pot Possession
- Ryan J. Reilly, Senior Justice Reporter - The Huffington Post
But Michael Crichlow, a 35-year-old "black man" who [owns] runs Michael’s Bail Bonds in Newport News, Virginia, and works with people incarcerated at Hampton Roads Regional Jail, is not swayed by arguments that the money bail system is unfair to the poor.
“They can afford to get drunk at the bar, but you mean to tell me that you can’t spend $100 to pay bail? It’s absurd to me,” Crichlow said. “Whatever these liberal social justice warriors want, it’s ridiculous. I don’t run across people who can’t afford $50, $100. In 2016, it’s absurd to think that somebody cannot afford $100 to get out on bail.”
Crichlow, a self-identified member of the [National] Libertarian Party, says he’s been arrested three or four times, so he’s been on both sides of the bail system. About a year before the Newport News police knocked on Mark Goodrum’s door, they’d shown up to a party Crichlow was throwing.
In addition to possession of marijuana, Crichlow was charged for loud music and resisting arrest. He says his bond was $1,000, and he was able to get out of jail pretty quickly.
“I had to pay $100 to a bondsman that I know,” Crichlow said. He said he has little sympathy for someone like Goodrum, a bedridden 60-year-old who was arrested on an outstanding warrant in connection with his marijuana possession charge as he was being evicted from his apartment.
“They’ve got money to buy a half ounce of weed for $150,” Crichlow said. “You mean to tell me you can’t spend $150 to get out of jail?”