As Chief Prosecutor, Klobuchar Declined to Bring Charges Against Cop that Killed George Floyd
While serving as Minnesota’s chief prosecutor between 1999 and 2007, Klobuchar declined to bring charges against more than two dozen officers who had killed citizens while on duty – including against the cop that killed George Floyd.
The latest example of America’s racist police brutality problem was caught on camera in Minneapolis Monday, as Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on 46-year-old African-American George Floyd’s neck for over seven minutes until he passed out and died. In its headline on its website, Minneapolis police described the event as “man dies after medical incident during police interaction,” laundering themselves of any responsibility. Chauvin continued his assault even as Floyd desperately pleaded that he could not breathe, while bystanders protested his brutality. “You’re fucking stopping his breathing there, bro,” warned one concerned passer-by. Even after passing out, Chauvin did not release pressure on his neck. Chauvin has killed multiple times before while in uniform, has shot and woundedothers and is well-known to local activist groups.
A history of racist policing, thanks to Klobuchar
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, who Joe Biden recently asked to undergo vetting to be his running mate for November, issued a very tepid statement about the incident, describing the police killing of an unarmed black man over an alleged forged check as merely an “officer involved shooting,” – a copaganda word often used by police as a euphemism for “murder.”
Klobuchar also called for a “complete and thorough outside investigation into what occurred, and those involved in this incident must be held accountable.” However, this is unlikely to occur, in no small part because of Klobuchar herself and the precedent she set while serving as the state’s chief prosecutor between 1999 and 2007. In that time, she declined to bring charges against more than two dozen officers who had killed citizens while on duty – including against Chauvin himself, who shot and killed Wayne Reyes in 2006 and would later go on to shoot more civilians while in uniform.
At the same time, however, Klobuchar was ramping up the number of arrests as part of her tough-on-crime agenda, something which inordinately affected people of color. In her first year in office alone, the prison sentences for first-degree drug crimes doubled. Activists allege her embracing of the broken window-style policing was a deliberate strategy to win support in the white suburbs of Minneapolis, to the detriment of the city’s non-white communities, bolstering her successful run for senate in 2006. A case in point is Elsayed Salim, who was convicted of failing to declare a secondary income that put him above the threshold for welfare and food stamps. A judge sentenced Salim to 364 days in jail – deliberately attempting to protect him from deportation by keeping his sentencing under a year which downgraded the case from a felony to a gross misdemeanor. An outraged Klobuchar appealed the decision, lobbying for an upgrade and condemning the state’s judges for “letting offenders off the hook too easily.” Mr. Salim was subsequently deported.
While it may not be the first city that comes to mind, data shows that Minneapolis is among the most racist cities in the United States for racial profiling and police stops. The police force’s own data shows that, while black people make up only 18 percent of the population, they were involved in nearly half of all police stops. Conversely, whites make up 60 percent of the population but figured in less than 21 percent of the stops. 62 percent of body searches and 63 percent of people whose cars were searched were also black. Thus, Floyd’s killing is merely a viral example of a wider phenomenon, a spark that ignited a powder keg of resentment that had been building for some time.