The chief of police in St. Paul, Minnesota is demanding an apology from a state rep who falsely claimed he was stopped only for being Black.
The chief wants State Rep. John Thompson of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party to apologize to the officer for falsely accusing him of racial profiling.
The police looked into his complaint and watched the bodycam footage of the stop and decided it was a legitimate stop.
Thompson was missing the front license plate on his car. In Minnesota, you must have one on the front and back. Usually, you would just get a warning but when they ran Thompson’s license they found out his license was suspended. That would explain why he was really angry about being stopped. Now, his license will be suspended even longer. So I guess the officer stopped him because he is Black, is missing a license plate, and is suspended from driving.
Thompson said, according to KSTP:
“We’re still getting ‘driving while black’ tickets in this state and, in fact, in St. Paul. So let’s just call it what it is, right … I shouldn’t have to be profiled, so this is ridiculous. Oh, and by the way, it was a sergeant here in St. Paul … We promote bad behavior.”
St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell looked into Thompson’s allegations:
“These aren’t accusations I take lightly, so I looked into the traffic stop, watched the body-worn camera footage, and spoke to the sergeant. This stop, made at about 1:20 in the morning, had absolutely nothing to do with the driver’s race.
“Simply put, the traffic stop was by the books. What happened afterward was anything but… I’m dismayed and disappointed by the state representative’s response to the stop. Rather than taking responsibility for his own decisions and actions, he attempted to deflect, cast aspersions, and deny any wrongdoing.”
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Thompson does not dispute that he is missing the license plate but I suppose he thinks a police officer should only stop white drivers who are missing their plates.
Thompson has refused to return calls asking him for a comment and he has now blocked the police from releasing the bodycam footage of the stop.
Ironically, when he was campaigning his signature issue was the quick release of bodycam footage.