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It appears that as County Attorney of Hennepin County, Minnesota, Amy Klobuchar actively pursued harsher sentences and plea deals, and more trials, boosting the number of imprisoned black people, while avoiding prosecution of police shootings.
According to The Guardian, Klobuchar—now a Minnesota senator and a former Democratic presidential candidate—has been slammed for her soft demand of “a complete and thorough outside investigation” following the death of George Floyd, and has subsequently been challenged about her record. Lauded as the state’s top prosecutor between 1999 and 2007, Klobuchar refused to press charges against over a dozen officers accused of killing civilians, which reportedly included the cop who killed Floyd, Derek Chauvin.
Civil rights leaders have censured the senator for seeking policies that reinforced her support in white suburbs, while taking aim at minorities. “There is an entire community that suffered under her leadership, and she has refused to accept accountability for the harm that she caused,” Nekima Levy Armstrong, a civil rights lawyer and former president of the Minneapolis N.A.A.C.P., told The New York Times.
As she was ramping up sentences and bolstering her relationship with the white voting bloc, Klobuchar was also working on her relationship with law enforcement, a tactic that is routine for prosecutors. However, some activists say that created a bias and is the reason why she didn’t file charges in over two-dozen police-involved deaths while she was in office. She instead assigned those cases to a grand jury, absolving herself of any responsibility.
Many are now calling for Klobuchar's resignation.
Chauvin, the officer who killed Floyd, has also been involved in other violent incidents while on duty. In 2006, Chauvin was one of several cops who were involved in the shooting death of a man who stabbed others before trying to harm the police. In 2008, Chauvin shot a man in his home after responding to a domestic violence call with fellow officers. In 2011, he was one of five officers who were placed on leave after shooting and wounding an indigenous man—and that same year, Chauvin was again involved in another shooting in connection to a domestic violence call.