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(62,898 posts)
Fri May 29, 2020, 03:09 PM May 2020

Klobuchar Says She 'Did Not Blow Off' Police Shootings

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) explained on MSNBC why she did not go after numerous police officers who shot civilians when she served as Hennepin County attorney in Minnesota.

Said Klobuchar: “When I was county attorney, cases we had involving officer-involved shootings went to a grand jury. I think that was wrong now. It would have been much better if I took responsibility and looked at cases and made a decision myself.”

She added: “We did not blow off these cases. We brought them to a grand jury, presented the evidence for a potential criminal prosecution, and the grand jury would come back with the decision.”


19 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Klobuchar Says She 'Did Not Blow Off' Police Shootings (Original Post) RandySF May 2020 OP
Excuses. You know the old saying, a prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. Solomon May 2020 #1
Need to finish... DURHAM D May 2020 #4
Grand Jury montanacowboy May 2020 #2
Bye, Amy. mobeau69 May 2020 #3
Anyone trashing Amy over this simply does not DURHAM D May 2020 #5
I have been a prosecutor and defense attorney qazplm135 May 2020 #7
Post removed Post removed May 2020 #8
Are you calling the poster a liar? nt USALiberal May 2020 #10
clearly they are qazplm135 May 2020 #14
lol qazplm135 May 2020 #13
I was a defense attorney for more than 20 years Solomon May 2020 #18
LOL, ok! nt USALiberal May 2020 #11
no trashing from me, just simple logic, she will not be the pick. As for complexities, well.... Celerity May 2020 #12
TY for this research... Her comments and policies made my skin crawl in disgust. MerryBlooms May 2020 #16
+1 BannonsLiver May 2020 #17
let's be honest qazplm135 May 2020 #6
I agree democrank May 2020 #15
My consistent warning to young up and comers that want to pursue politics. Blue_true May 2020 #19
Grand Juries are a joke! nt USALiberal May 2020 #9


(6,172 posts)
2. Grand Jury
Fri May 29, 2020, 03:29 PM
May 2020

and a prosecutor wouldn't ask for charges to be brought? right...

bringing them to a grand jury will just verify the prosecution's wishes


(7,450 posts)
7. I have been a prosecutor and defense attorney
Fri May 29, 2020, 03:34 PM
May 2020

I've done murder cases, tell me again I don't understand the complexities.

Response to qazplm135 (Reply #7)


(7,450 posts)
13. lol
Fri May 29, 2020, 03:41 PM
May 2020

graduated Univ of Houston cum laude in 2001 pal. I have been lead counsel on a death penalty appeal. I have been a member of the Supreme Court Bar since 2010, although not surprisingly my two cert requests were not granted. I have supervised a team of attorneys on both sides of the aisle.

But sure, you got me. Damn Macklin, you've done it again.


(12,400 posts)
18. I was a defense attorney for more than 20 years
Fri May 29, 2020, 05:02 PM
May 2020

but i just didnt feel like arguing with the person.


(45,274 posts)
12. no trashing from me, just simple logic, she will not be the pick. As for complexities, well....
Fri May 29, 2020, 03:40 PM
May 2020

Her comment to Mitchell framed it like she took the most anti cop-brutality/murder action possible, when it was actually very weak. She also tried to frame it as only about the last big controversial case, the one where she had an out, so to speak, as she was elected to the US Senate in the middle of it, so could say she had not responsibility. There were over 100 other examples before that, where she did have responsibility to do the right thing and failed.

She ran as a law and order hard ass (even praised Rudolph W. Giuliani's broken window theory.) You cannot have your cake and eat it too, especially at these lofty heights of potential VP speculation.

Klobuchar relied on grand juries to charge cops, seen today as avoiding accountability, and shied from getting between police and diverse communities during a violent time in Minneapolis.

a great 2019 article from American Public Media:

American Public Media (APM) is the second largest producer and distributor of public radio programs in the United States after NPR.

Klobuchar didn't prosecute controversial police killings or brutality cases as a county attorney


This story was co-published with MPR (Minnesota Public Radio) News

Violence was a dark feature of law enforcement in Minnesota's largest county 20 years ago. Amy Klobuchar saw it firsthand as the Hennepin County Attorney, though she kept a distance. Over eight years beginning in 1999, the city of Minneapolis paid $4.8 million in legal settlements related to 122 police misconduct incidents. And police officers and county sheriffs were involved in 29 civilian deaths.

Klobuchar, however, chose not to criminally charge any fatalities involving law enforcement. Instead she routinely put the decision to a grand jury, a process widely criticized for its secrecy and for mostly allowing the police version of events. Klobuchar also didn't take on any of the misconduct claims.

The mother of a black teenager who was shot and killed by police in 2004 begged Klobuchar to file charges against the officer instead of presenting the case to a grand jury. "The grand jury is a way of hiding that the prosecutor is not giving the full information of guilt to the grand jury," Tahisha Williams Brewer wrote to Klobuchar at the time. "I want this process out in the open, where everyone can observe it and make sure that it is fair to my son." Klobuchar did not directly respond to Williams Brewer and proceeded to present the case to a grand jury, which found the shooting was justified.

Two years earlier, a riot broke out in the predominantly black Jordan neighborhood in north Minneapolis after police accidentally shot an African-American boy during a drug raid. Anger rose and trust fell quickly between law enforcement and minority communities. A federal mediator quickly arrived to try to calm tensions. Klobuchar didn't get involved. "I think there was a significant amount of indifference on her part with regards to the problems facing the Native-American and African-American community," said Ron Edwards, a longtime civil rights activist who served on a police relations council created through the federal mediation process.

As Klobuchar — a U.S. senator from Minnesota — begins a run for president, her past decisions to not use the power of her office to punish bad cops or stand up for the communities she otherwise protected will contrast with a more progressive Democratic electorate calling for greater police accountability.


As a prosecutor in heavily white Minnesota, Amy Klobuchar declined to go after police involved in fatal encounters with black men


Christopher Burns, a 44-year-old black man, was unarmed and at home in Minneapolis with his fiancee and three young children when the police arrived in response to a domestic violence call. The officers put him in a chokehold, and he died on the scene, according to the medical examiner. The 2002 incident marked the third killing of a black person by the city’s police department that year, prompting local activists to stage rallies and demand that the two officers involved in Burns’s death face charges.

The focus of the community’s anger was Amy Klobuchar, the up-and-coming attorney of Hennepin County, who had declined to prosecute police accused of using excessive force against black suspects. “WE MUST NOT LET THEM GET AWAY WITH THIS!” one activist group wrote in a newsletter. “Many people are watching to see if she will really fight for justice in this case.” Klobuchar, then 42, declined to bring charges against the officers, and a grand jury she convened did not indict them.

As chief prosecutor for Minnesota’s most populous county from 1999 to 2007, Klobuchar declined to bring charges in more than two dozen cases in which people were killed in encounters with police. At the same time, she aggressively prosecuted smaller offenses such as vandalism and routinely sought longer-than-recommended sentences, including for minors. Such prosecutions, done with the aim of curbing more serious crimes, have had mixed results and have been criticized for their disproportionate effect on poor and minority communities. “We were already a community in distress when she became Hennepin County attorney,” said Nekima Levy Armstrong, a civil rights attorney and former president of the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP. “Rather than taking steps to help mitigate some of those concerns and issues, during her tenure in office, her policies exacerbated the situation.”


Tough-on-crime prosecutor

Klobuchar was elected prosecutor by promising “meaningful and, when appropriate, severe” consequences for people who break the law. When the 38-year-old corporate lawyer launched her 1998 campaign, the Twin Cities were recovering from a long wave of violent crime, and many communities were demanding help. Minneapolis had earned the nickname “Murderapolis” in 1995, when its homicide rate peaked. At the time, the ratio of African Americans to whites in state prison was among the worst in the country.

During her campaign, Klobuchar vowed a zero-tolerance approach toward nonviolent crimes by young people, including petty theft and vandalism. “The broken windows theory is correct,” she wrote in a 1998 candidate statement, embracing the policing theory popularized by then-New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and his police commissioner, William Bratton, in the mid-1990s. The idea was that cracking down on minor offenses can prevent more serious crimes. After beating her opponent by less than 1 percent, the new county attorney followed through on her campaign promises, adopting an aggressive approach to felony and juvenile prosecutions across dozens of police jurisdictions in and around Minneapolis.



(7,450 posts)
6. let's be honest
Fri May 29, 2020, 03:33 PM
May 2020

she didn't take responsibility because she wanted to keep her tough on crime credentials and she wanted to push it off to the grand jury so that if they did come back (which they never did) with prosecution, she could keep that tough on crime cred by saying hey, wasn't me, it was the grand jury.

She abdicated for political reasons. You can't be President of VP when you do stuff like that. Sorry, but you can't. Not in our party.


(11,125 posts)
15. I agree
Fri May 29, 2020, 03:52 PM
May 2020

One of my least favorite political types are those who make decisions they believe will guarantee a pat on the back no matter which way the wind blows at the end of the day.


(31,261 posts)
19. My consistent warning to young up and comers that want to pursue politics.
Fri May 29, 2020, 07:05 PM
May 2020

Take responsibility for making tough decisions and talk to everyone before making a final decision. Failure to do that means you will be saying "I should have" later.

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