Friday on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) said it was “a lie” that as the chief legal officer of Hennepin County, MN she declined to charge Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for his role in the shooting death of Wayne Reyes in October 2006.
Chauvin is the police officer seen on video with his knee on George Floyd’s neck for several minutes.
Klobuchar said, “Honestly, yesterday, when these reports came out about this officer, I was with our community, and my number one focus was the city that was burning. And now I have this opportunity to address this. Let me start with the specific case. This idea that I somehow declined a case which has been reported on some news blogs and then sent out on the internet against this officer is absolutely false. It is a lie. I don’t know what else to say about it than it is a lie.”
She continued, “The case was investigated. That investigation continued into a time where I was already sworn I the U.S. Senate. I never declined the case. It was handled and sent to the grand jury. My successor’s office said it was not my place to make decisions because the decision was made when I was in the U.S. Senate. In fact, nine months after I was in the Senate is when it went to the grand jury.”
She added, “Now let me address the bigger issue. I have said repeatedly back when I was the county attorney, cases we had involved with officer-involved shootings went to grand jury. That was true across our state and many jurisdictions across the country. I think that was wrong now. I think it would have been much better if I took the responsibility and looked at the cases and made the decision myself. But let me make this clear, we did not blow off these cases. We brought them to a grand jury, presented the evidence for a potential criminal prosecution, and the grand jury would come back with the decision. That is how we handled the cases. That aside, I want to move forward. And I think the best way we move forward is, one, prosecutors taking responsibility themselves.”
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