If so, perhaps Amy Klobuchar should change her name to Amy Quixote. Outrage over the death of George Floyd under the knee of Minneapolis police officer Derrick Chauvin has ricocheted onto the state’s most popular politician. During the presidential campaign, Klobuchar’s record as Hennepin County DA in relation to police misconduct had already come under fire from the Left, which is why progressives have ramped up their opposition lately to Klobuchar joining the ticket.
Chauvin makes it even more problematic, as an earlier case involving Chauvin’s use of lethal force went through her office just as she was preparing to take her Senate seat. The New York Times notes that Klobuchar may not have had much to do with the decision not to press charges, but she passed on other cases often enough to raise eyebrows now:
With a police force in Minneapolis that has long faced accusations of racism and complaints of abuse, Ms. Klobuchar declined to bring charges against multiple police officers who were involved in shootings during her seven-year tenure. Instead she often opted to send cases to a grand jury, a common practice at the time but one that some law enforcement experts say favors police officers.
In October 2006, Derrick Chauvin, the same officer who knelt on Mr. Floyd’s neck for more than seven minutes as he complained he could not breathe, was one of six officers involved in the shooting of a man who had stabbed multiple people before turning on the police. Ms. Klobuchar, weeks away from being elected to the Senate, was still the prosecutor, but the case wasn’t heard until after she took the oath of office in Washington.
“Senator Klobuchar’s last day in the office here was December 31, 2006, and she had no involvement in the prosecution of this case at all,” said Lacey Severins, a spokeswoman for the Hennepin County prosecutor’s office, which encompasses Minneapolis.
Although she had no role in reviewing Mr. Chauvin’s case in 2006, Ms. Klobuchar’s name was trending online Thursday, with many quick to tie that decision to her long record as a prosecutor that critics viewed as overly friendly to police officers. The searing emotions surrounding Mr. Floyd’s death have reopened old wounds in her relationship with some national and local community activists in Minneapolis.