MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Gov. Tim Walz and leaders from Minnesota’s DFL and GOP parties are calling on State Rep. John Thompson to resign following reports of domestic violence allegations.
Walz and the DFL released their statements within minutes of each other Saturday afternoon, referencing a local news report that details allegations against Thompson going back to 2003. Some of the alleged assaults happened in the presence of children.
“The alleged acts of violence against multiple women outlined in these reports are serious and deeply disturbing,” Walz said. “Minnesotans deserve representatives of the highest moral character, who uphold our shared values. Representative Thompson can no longer effectively be that leader and he should immediately resign.”
Thompson was charged with domestic assault twice in the 2000s in separate incidents. He was not convicted of either charge.
One of those cases took place in Eagan in 2004. His girlfriend told police he punched her face, threatened to kill her daughter, and choked her, saying, ‘I’ll choke you until you can’t breathe anymore.’
A Superior, Wisconsin police report from 2003 says the same woman told officers Thompson punched her in front of her 5-year-old daughter before fleeing the scene and resisting arrest.
Records from St. Paul police show in 2009, a 911 caller said two women were being assaulted by a man, and the man was exposing his genitals to children.
Thompson answered the door and was arrested for domestic assault, but the Ramsey County Attorney didn’t file charges.
In 2010, a woman told St. Paul police Thompson “grabbed her around the neck with both hands and applied pressure…stating ‘I’ll choke you until your voice box stops.'”
That report says the county attorney declined that case because of a delayed 911 call, poor witness information and the victim saying she doesn’t remember if she or Thompson attacked first.
Thompson’s attorney, Jordan Kushner, told WCCO the allegations are false, saying that Thompson hasn’t been found guilty on any domestic violence charges. He also said Thompson does not plan to resign.
DFL Party Chair Ken Martin echoed Walz’s sentiments Saturday, adding that “Physical and sexual violence are anathema to everything we stand for as DFLers and as Minnesotans, and nobody credibly accused of such heinous acts has any place in elected office.”
The Minnesota GOP party also called for Thompson to resign, saying that elected officials “should be held to the highest standard of citizenship and Rep. Thompson has consistently failed to meet that standard during his time in office.”
Thompson has come under scrutiny recently following a July 4 traffic stop in St. Paul, which he claimed was for “driving while Black.”
St. Paul Police pulled Thompson over for not having a front license plate. He also had a suspended Wisconsin driver’s license for failure to pay child support. Later that week, Thompson resolved the issue and his driving privileges were reinstated.
St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell denied the stop was for racial profiling, saying it was “by the books.” But activists and members of the social justice community rallied around Thompson at the state capitol on Wednesday, stressing that driving while Black is a problem in Minnesota.
In St. Paul last year 43% of traffic stops were Black drivers, even though the Black population of St. Paul is 16%.
Thompson was also one of the leading voices for police reform following the death of his friend Philando Castile, who was shot and killed during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights in 2016.
But questions of Thompson’s residency remained, as the address listed on his July 4 ticket is in St. Paul, but not in his district.
When Thompson filed paperwork to run for state representative, he checked a privacy box which is for those with orders of protection or a police report saying they had been threatened. Checking the box means Thompson had to provide a separate form with a home address. That form is not a public document.
In a letter, Secretary of State Steve Simon said his office does not have the authority to investigate residency allegations, but DFL House Speaker Melissa Hortman said she will be investigating Thompson’s residency allegations with the help of the Minnesota House legal counsel.
This is a breaking news story. Check back with WCCO.com for more.