Minnesota government, other Democrats call for resignation of troubled state lawmaker after abuse allegations surface

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Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and other state Democrats called on State Representative John Thompson to step down on Saturday after past allegations of domestic violence surfaced on Friday, according to reports.

The state lawmaker was already embroiled in several controversies involving a suspended driver’s license, his residence potentially outside his district and a suspicious racial profiling allegation he made against police during a traffic stop.

Johnson, who was first elected last year, has been accused of punching and suffocating women – sometimes in the presence of young children – and of allegedly exposing himself, FOX 9 reported in Minneapolis.

“The alleged acts of violence against several women described in these reports are serious and deeply disturbing,” Walz said in a statement, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “The people of Minnesota deserve representatives of the highest moral standards, who uphold our shared values. Representative Thompson can no longer effectively be that leader and he should resign immediately.”

The allegations were first reported by FOX 9 on Friday night as the station investigated Thompson’s residence, which was called into question during a traffic stop on July 4 in which he falsely accused the officer of racism.

Thompson denied the allegations to FOX 9 through a lawyer. Lawmakers did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment late in the evening.

Thompson was arrested in 2003 for allegedly punching his then-girlfriend in the parking lot of a grocery store in front of his 5-year-old daughter. He ultimately pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, according to FOX 9.

A year later, the same girlfriend reportedly called the police, accusing them of hitting her, throwing her on a kitchen table and suffocating in front of her three children in her apartment.

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She claimed he told her “I’ll suffocate you until you can’t breathe,” FOX 9 reported. The girlfriend allegedly told police a day earlier than he told her, to her and her daughter: “I hope you both die”.

Police body camera footage of Representative John Thompson's traffic stop on July 4
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Police body camera footage of Representative John Thompson’s traffic stop on July 4
(City of St. Paul / Minnesota House of Representatives)

The girlfriend was taken to a shelter and it is not known if Thompson has been charged.

In 2009, police responded to an incident where Thompson allegedly exposed himself in front of a woman and two children during an argument. “I’m the man, you can all s—- my d—” he reportedly said after apparently removing his penis. No charges have been laid.

The following year, police were called when a woman who said she had been in a relationship with Thompson for years and had two children with him claimed he had removed his penis and told her to “kiss the tip” during an argument in front of children. and close. She also told police he later strangled her and said, “I will suffocate you until your voicemail stops.” No charges have been laid.

“Mr. Thompson denies the allegations,” his attorney Jordan Kushner told FOX 9. “The end results speak for themselves. We are currently focusing on [Thompson’s current] trial and I don’t have time to dissect those police reports from 10 to 18 years ago. “

Kushner said he had no plans to quit on Saturday. “It is a pity that there is no concern about the due process,” he told the Star Tribune.

Thompson was cited in Minnesota earlier this month for allegedly driving on a Wisconsin license that was suspended in 2019 for non-payment of child support in Ramsey County, Minnesota.

Court documents related to a trial this week where he is charged with disorderly conduct have also been sent to an address outside his district of St. Paul.

Thompson alleges he and others were treated unfairly by police at North Memorial Medical Center in November 2019 after a group gathered at the hospital for a friend who was a patient.

However, his claims differ greatly from what police and prosecutors claim to have taken place, with police claiming the hospital was closed after around 50 to 75 people started fighting and knocking on windows.

Thompson alleges that police and security guards treated black Americans in the crowd callously and directly labeled the police as racist. He says an officer responded by calling him an “idiot” and arrested him for trespassing.

He is fighting the misdemeanor charge in court.

Kushner said the state official had always lived in his district but was unaware that court documents had been sent to an address outside his district. Minnesota law requires state officials to live in their district.

Video of Thompson’s traffic stop earlier this month in which he claimed to be racially profiled was released by the St. Paul Police Department.

“I’m too old to run away from the police, man,” Thompson told the officer in the July 4 arrest video. “You profiled me because you looked me in the face and I got a ticket for driving while Black. You stopped me because you saw a Black face in that car, brother. There’s no way I’m going with you behind me. … You looked in that car and you turned around and walked past my car, and that’s the reason. “

He was first arrested for not having a front license plate.

Thompson’s claim prompted St. Paul’s Police Chief Todd Axtell to demand an apology, saying he looked at the body camera footage and found it had “nothing to do with the race. of the driver “.

“Put simply, the traffic stop was proper,” Axtell said in a Facebook post. “What happened next was anything but, I am appalled and disappointed by the state official’s response to the shutdown. Rather than taking responsibility for his own decisions and actions, he attempted to hijack attention, slander and deny any wrongdoing. “

Thompson did not respond to Axtell’s call to apologize, but supported the release of the body camera images and noted that the officer’s actions “were in accordance with the book.”

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Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, a Democrat, was among those calling for her resignation.

“As a mother, children’s advocate, survivor and child witness to domestic violence, I know the deeply traumatic impact of the actions described in the reports against Representative Thompson,” Flanagan said in a statement. “Someone who has exhibited this type of violent behavior, especially in the presence of children, is unfit for an elected position.”

Democratic-farmer-worker House Speaker Melissa Hortman and House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler also called for his resignation in a joint statement.

“Representative Thompson has run for office to advance progressive policies, but his recent actions and unacceptable reports of abuse and misconduct have become an obstacle to this work,” they said, the Tribune reported. .

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