George Floyd’s death in police custody is renewing criticism of Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s (D-Minn.) prosecutorial record.
Before she became a senator and a top contender for former Vice President Joe Biden’s vice presidential spot, Klobuchar spent eight years as the Hennepin County attorney, in charge of prosecution for Minneapolis. And while in that position, Klobuchar declined to prosecute multiple police officers cited for excessive force, and did not prosecute the officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck as he protested, The Guardian reports.
Ex-Minneapolis police officer Derick Chauvin saw at least 10 conduct complaints during his 19-year tenure before he was fired Tuesday, according to a database that documents complaints against police.
In particular, he was involved in the shooting death of a man who had stabbed other people before attacking police, as well as some other undisclosed complaints. Klobuchar did not prosecute Chauvin and other officers involved for the first death, which occurred in October 2006 while she was running for Senate. The case was under investigation when Klobuchar took office in the Senate in Jan. 2007, and later went to a grand jury, which declined to charge the officers. Chauvin was later placed on leave when he and other officers shot and wounded a Native American man in 2011.
As The Washington Post noted in March, Klobuchar “declined to bring charges in more than two dozen cases in which people were killed in encounters with police” as Hennepin County attorney. Instead, she “aggressively prosecuted smaller offenses” that “have been criticized for their disproportionate effect on poor and minority communities,” the Post continues. And as Klobuchar undergoes vetting to become a possible vice presidential candidate, that track record is being scrutinized and criticized once again.