AP NEWS
ADVERTISEMENT

Gov. Walz, top Democrats call for lawmaker’s resignation

July 17, 2021 GMT
This Aug. 21, 2016 photo shows John Thompson, now a state representative, at a fundraiser at Central High School in St. Paul, Minn. Thompson, who was ticketed for a driver’s license violation is alleging he was racially profiled. The citation says State Rep. John Thompson of St. Paul, who is Black, presented a Wisconsin license during a traffic stop in St. Paul Sunday, July 4, 2021 . (Scott Takushi/Pioneer Press via AP)
This Aug. 21, 2016 photo shows John Thompson, now a state representative, at a fundraiser at Central High School in St. Paul, Minn. Thompson, who was ticketed for a driver’s license violation is alleging he was racially profiled. The citation says State Rep. John Thompson of St. Paul, who is Black, presented a Wisconsin license during a traffic stop in St. Paul Sunday, July 4, 2021 . (Scott Takushi/Pioneer Press via AP)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Tim Walz and top state Democratic lawmakers are calling on state Rep. John Thompson to resign following reports of domestic violence allegations in his past.

The four domestic assault cases, spanning a period between 2003 and 2009, included allegations that Thompson punched and choked women, sometimes in the presence of children, the Star Tribune reports. FOX 9 first reported the allegations Friday night.

“The alleged acts of violence against multiple women outlined in these reports are serious and deeply disturbing,” Walz said in a statement. “Minnesotans deserve representatives of the highest moral character, who uphold our shared values. Rep. Thompson can no longer effectively be that leader and he should immediately resign.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Neither Thompson nor his attorney, Bruce Nestor, could be reached for comment on Saturday.

The first-term Democrat represents a district on the east side of St. Paul and has been in the spotlight since he was stopped by police while driving July 4.

The St. Paul Police Department said an officer pulled over Thompson, who is Black, because his car did not have a front license plate, and cited him for driving under suspension. Thompson, a longtime activist who is now pushing as a legislator to change laws around police encounters, said he was being profiled by law enforcement.

The stop prompted more attention to Thompson’s past record, which also includes a 2019 misdemeanor charge of obstructing the legal process after he got in an argument with law enforcement over their treatment of the family and friends of a patient at North Memorial Health Hospital.

The stop also raised questions about Thompson’s residency after he presented a Wisconsin license to the officer. He later revealed that he has never had a Minnesota license. Republicans have called into question the process for verifying his residency at the time he filed to run for office.

An October 2003 domestic abuse report, according to FOX 9, was filed in Superior, Wisconsin, when Thompson was accused of striking his girlfriend in the face in a supermarket parking lot in front of her 5-year-old daughter. Thompson fled police but eventually pleaded guilty to a lower charge of disorderly conduct.

ADVERTISEMENT

A year later, Thompson was accused of attacking the same woman in her Eagan apartment, hitting her, choking and threatening her because she dialed 911. Children were present, according to FOX 9. In 2009, police were called after an argument broke out between Thompson and two women over a cellphone, during which Thompson allegedly took out his penis in front of one woman and her children, FOX 9 reported. He has not been charged with domestic assault in any of these instances.

In addition to Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, DFL House Speaker Melissa Hortman, House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, DFL Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent and state DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin all called for Thompson’s immediate resignation Saturday, sending out releases within minutes of one another. Also calling for Thompson’s resignation was U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, a former state legislator whose Congressional district includes St. Paul.