The Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party has officially postponed its event with Democratic candidate John Thompson due to widespread pushback. A reporter with The Star Tribune announced the fundraiser’s indefinite delay.
However, DFL House Speaker Melissa Hortman did not initially want to remove Thompson from the event.
The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association (MPPOA) sent a letter to Hortman on Monday. The MPPOA expressed “deep frustration” with the DFL’s support of Thompson due to the recent incident in Hugo. According to them, anyone who supports Thompson’s candidacy is not a supporter of law enforcement.
“Thompson has threatened to burn down a neighborhood and beat an effigy of a police officer’s wife, a female reporter, while standing outsider their home,” reads the letter. “This is violent and outrageous behavior – and not just rhetoric – specifically against a police officer and his family.”
Hortman’s immediate response to MPPOA’s letter said that Thompson made a wrongful mistake, and was just one of the 12 Democratic candidates running for vacant seats. The speaker expressed intentions to continue with the event as planned.
“Now we move forward. Just as with other members of the Minnesota House of Representatives who have said and done reprehensible things in the past, I have accepted their apologies and moved on,” wrote Hortman. “I hope that others can as well and give Mr. Thompson another chance. It is what I want others to give me when I make mistakes, acknowledge the mistakes, and apologize. I want forgiveness and another chance. And that is what I’m giving John Thompson.”
Last month, Thompson spoke at a Black Lives Matter (BLM) rally. The candidate’s expletive-laced speech called for domestic terrorism and targeted police union leader Bob Kroll and his wife, local anchorwoman Liz Collins.
“Why the f*** is we so peaceful in this brackety-a** neighborhood? F*** yo motherf****** peace, white racist motherf*****! This whole g****** state burned down for twenty f******* dollars, you think we gonna give a f*** about burning Hugo down! … I didn’t come here to be peaceful in Hugo. ‘Kumbaya My Lord,’ no. ‘F*** Hugo, Minnesota! F*** Bob Kroll! And f*** anybody who support his racist a**!”
“Inflammatory rhetoric is not how I want to address the important issues we’re facing, and I apologize, Thompson said. “I’m not apologizing for my passion to fight injustice.”
The House DFL has not announced a new date for the fundraiser.
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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Minnesota Sun and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].
Photo “John Thompson” by John Thompson. Background Photo “Minnesota State Capitol” by McGhiever. CC BY-SA 4.0.