Bodycam footage released by the police appears to contradict Democrat Minnesota state Rep. John Thompson’s claim he was pulled over for “driving while black.
“Why in such a hurry?” an officer asks Thompson in the released footage.
Thompson replies “I don’t think I took off like a bat out of hell, I just drove off.”
The officer asks for proof of insurance then returns to say “You’re suspended in Minnesota.”
The state legislator shakes his head no, prompting the officer to say, “That’s what the computer says. If it’s wrong, you’ll have to deal with DVS [the Department of Vehicle Services].”
Thompson asks in the video why he was pulled over and the officer says it was because his vehicle has “No front plate, and the way you took off from the light back there.”
Thompson then complains “I’m too old to run from the police, man. You profiled me because you looked me dead in the face and I got a ticket for driving while Black. You pulled me over because you saw a Black face in this car, brother. There’s no way in hell I’m taking off with you behind me. … You looked in this car and busted a U-turn and got behind my car, and that’s the reason – ”
In a Facebook post, Todd Axtell, the St. Paul chief of police demands an apology from Thompson.
“We also take responsibility for our actions. When we make mistakes, we own them and try to fix them. It’s what our community expects of its public servants,” he says.
“The driver, an elected official who does not dispute driving without a front license plate, owes our sergeant an apology,” he added.