As Minnesota is plunged into chaos, former Democratic presidential hopeful Amy Klobuchar has found herself in hot water after revelations surfaced that she had previously declined to prosecute the officer involved in the death of George Floyd. Klobuchar, who was previously shortlisted as a candidate for Vice President, may just have had her ambitions dashed.
The former Minnesota county prosecutor, who previously served as the chief legal officer of Hennepin County, MN, before she took a seat in the US Senate, refused to charge Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin, who is now accused of third degree murder in the death of George Floyd. Floyd’s death sent shockwaves through the justice system amid allegations that he died as a result of police brutality.
In October 2006, Chauvin was implicated in the shooting death of Wayne Reyes, who had allegedly “stabbed his girlfriend and male friend” before setting off a manhunt that ended in his death.
Breitbart reports that Chauvin was one of six officers involved in the pursuit, which ended when Reyes stopped his vehicle and allegedly brandished a shotgun at Chauvin and the other officers, prompting them to open fire and kill him. The shooting was considered, according to The Guardian on Thursday, as excessive use of force.
Klobuchar, who was running for Senate at the time, was pressured by the local black community to prosecute the officers involved in the shooting but declined to charge them for any wrongdoing. Chauvin continued to serve on the force until this week, when he was suspended for his involvement in the death of George Floyd.
Breitbart reports that in 2011, Chauvin was involved in a shooting of a Native American man who was later charged with assault. Chauvin faced “at least” ten civilian complaints for his conduct while on the force.
The attention drawn towards Chauvin’s prior conduct has cast a light on Klobuchar and her precarious decision not to charge him in the previous case, prompting Democratic and Republican political observers alike to cast doubts on whether she will be selected as former Vice President Joe Biden’s running mate this November. Biden has yet to pick his running mate, which has been shortlisted to a small group of women that included Amy Klobuchar.