Minnesota Representative John Thompson on Trial for Obstruction

Black Lives Matter protest outside North Memorial Hospital

 

Minnesota Representative John Thompson is currently on trial for a misdemeanor obstruction charge. He is accused of trespassing and obstructing legal process from a November 2019 incident in Robbinsdale, Minnesota.

According to the Pioneer Press, “Thompson was part of a large group of people — police estimated at least 50 — that congregated at North Memorial Hospital about 11 a.m. where a close family friend of his was admitted following a suicide attempt, according to court documents.” The situation escalated to the point where the hospital went on lockdown and reports say that people were screaming and banging on locked doors.

In video footage, Thompson can be seen yelling at a police officer who told him to calm down. Thompson responded to the officer by saying, “Would you be calm if security surrounded you like you was a criminal?” The officer replied, “I wouldn’t be screaming and shouting … you’re screaming and shouting like an idiot.” In the footage, Thompson followed up with, “You’re an idiot.”

KARE 11 reported “body camera footage played in court Monday showed Thompson yelling at hospital security, responding officers and into a smart phone he was using to document what he considered a racist response by police and hospital staff, who eventually ordered a lockdown.”

Thompson’s lawyer, Jordan Kushner, claimed that the hospital exhibited “discriminatory conduct.” In a comment to WCCO, Kushner said, “He was a man of color who’s just trying to stand up for his rights, and asking to be treated respectfully, and then told by a police sergeant that he was an idiot.”

In a statement from the time of the incident, the hospital, North Memorial, said “Our staff and our law enforcement partners responded quickly and effectively to de-escalate an emotionally-charged gathering. They did so without any injury to patients, family or staff.”

This follows the recent revelations of abuse allegations, not having a Minnesota driver’s license, and driving with a suspended license for failing to pay child support. A bipartisan call for Thompson to resign has continued, but Thompson has not resigned as of Tuesday. He told KARE 11 that he will have an “announcement about his intentions” but that he is “putting out one fire at a time.”

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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | Star News Network and The College Fix. She graduated with a degree in Communications from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. Send news tips to [email protected]
Background Photo “Protest” by Fibonacci Blue. CC BY 2.0.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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