A state consultant for St. Paul has been cited for a driver’s license violation — however Rep. John Thompson is disputing that and alleging he was racially profiled when he was pulled over within the first place.
Thompson, a DFLer representing town’s East Facet, offered a Wisconsin driver’s license throughout a visitors cease in St. Paul over the weekend, in line with the quotation.
His driving privileges in Minnesota had been revoked due to a Ramsey County youngster help challenge from April 2019, mentioned Doug Neville, a Minnesota Division of Public Security spokesman. Thompson mentioned Thursday that he doesn’t owe youngster help and he takes care of his youngsters.
Whereas Thompson doesn’t maintain a Minnesota driver’s license and by no means had one issued by Minnesota, the state can nonetheless take motion on folks’s driving privileges, in line with DPS. Thompson’s driving privileges had been reinstated Wednesday “after taking good care of the kid help challenge,” Neville mentioned.
Thompson, who instructed the Pioneer Press last fall that he’s lived on the East Side for more than 18 years, mentioned Thursday he had saved his Wisconsin driver’s license and had not switched it over to a Minnesota one. Minnesota regulation requires new residents, who select to drive, to use for his or her Minnesota driver’s license or allow inside 60 days of changing into a resident.
He mentioned he had “no concept that my license was suspended as a result of my license has been legitimate so long as I’ve been on this … earth.”
Minnesota court docket information present Thompson was ordered to pay youngster help in 2010. In a separate case involving completely different youngsters, Thompson’s former spouse was ordered to pay youngster help to him. There weren’t newer filings in both case that indicated he owed cash.
On Sunday about 1:25 a.m., a sergeant working a “Towards Zero Deaths” element made a visitors cease close to East Seventh and Wacouta streets in downtown St. Paul, in line with Steve Linders, a St. Paul police spokesman, and the quotation itself.
The sergeant stopped the automobile as a result of it didn’t have a entrance license plate; Thompson was not cited for that nor for having a driver’s license from a distinct state. He was cited for driving after suspension of driving privileges.
Thompson instructed the sergeant that he’s a state consultant, Linders mentioned. He additionally accused him of racially profiling him, in line with police.
“The sergeant reiterated that he’d been stopped as a result of the automobile he was driving didn’t have a entrance license plate, which is required by state regulation,” Linders mentioned.
STATE REP: ‘DRIVING-WHILE-BLACK’
Thompson talked about being pulled over throughout a Tuesday memorial for Philando Castile, who was Thompson’s good friend and was fatally shot by a St. Anthony police officer on July 6, 2016.
“I’m nonetheless being profiled,” Thompson mentioned in remarks shared on social media. “… Matter of truth, I used to be simply pulled over Saturday. The outdated pretextual cease. ‘You don’t have a entrance license plate.’ And I obtained a ticket, for my license. Anyway, I believed we weren’t doing pretextual stops right here within the state. However we’re. You may nonetheless get driving-while-Black tickets within the state — as a matter of truth, in St. Paul. Let’s simply name this what it’s.”
Thompson, an activist-turned-lawmaker who isn’t any stranger to controversy and was elected in November, is an outspoken member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor’s Folks of Colour and Indigenous Caucus that was pushing for a slate of modifications to policing legal guidelines, together with an finish to sure “pretextual stops.”
A pretextual cease is when an officer pulls a driver over for a minor visitors or gear violation and makes use of the cease to analyze a extra critical crime. Though such visitors stops are authorized, a Stanford Legislation Overview article in March concluded they “might contribute to a rise in racial profiling.”
Each Castile and Daunte Wright had been pulled over for such infractions and had been fatally shot by police in separate Twin Cities suburbs inside minutes. Each males had been Black.
Beneath one set of proposed modifications, officers wouldn’t be allowed to drag over a driver for an expired license plate sticker — as Wright was curbed for — however would moderately be required to doc the infraction and mail the proprietor of the automobile a quotation. Nevertheless, it doesn’t seem that invoice would have prevented the marginally completely different violation Thompson was pulled over for: failing to have each plates clearly displayed.
Regardless, Republicans on the Capitol opposed such modifications, arguing that police routinely seize unlawful weapons and apprehend harmful fugitives after such in any other case minor visitors stops. Their opposition prevented these modifications from ever reaching the desk of Gov. Tim Walz, who had indicated he possible would have signed them into regulation.
Deanna Weniger contributed to this report.