It’s always hard to know what will come of the choices we make in life. However, one thing is for sure: crimes that go unpunished only lead to more corruption. And that is precisely the truth that former presidential candidate and Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar is facing this week.
As you well know, the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, in Klobuchar’s home state, is in turmoil following the wrongful death of George Floyd. Floyd, a black man, was arrested on forgery charges, a non-violent crime. But upon being taken into custody, a white officer, Derek Chauvin, serving the arrest got forceful, and things got out of hand.
Floyd died after Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly ten minutes.
Chauvin, as well as the other three officers involved in the incident, were rightfully fired on Tuesday. But that has done little to prevent the city from lashing out and demanding justice.
One such reason is that this is not the first time Chauvin has been involved in the death of a civilian. In fact, he as been the officer in question in a total of three civilian shootings and has had no less than ten formal conduct complaints filed against him in his 19-year career as a Minneapolis Police officer.
And the worst punishment he has ever gotten was being put on administrative leave for a time. This was after a Native American man was shot by Chauvin in 2011. However, it is noted that the man did not die from his injuries, according to WCCO-TV’s original report.
However, even this nonfatal shooting may not have occurred if Klobuchar had decided to step in.
You see, back in 2006, she was presiding in Minneapolis as the Hennepin County prosecuting attorney. It was at this time that she first came into contact with Chauvin and his tendency towards undeserved violence.
According to police records, Chauvin and five other officers were involved in a shooting while trying to arrest a man who had allegedly stabbed his friend and girlfriend. At some point, the suspect, Wayne Reyes, reportedly aimed a shotgun at the officers, who then fired on him.
And as in all police shootings, the case was sent to the prosecutor’s office to be investigated. But Klobuchar refused to prosecute. Instead, she left the case to a grand jury, who also declined to press charges.
It is also noted, the case didn’t even go before the grand jury until Klobuchar had left her position in Minneapolis and moved to her new job as State Senator.
Now, I’m not saying that Chauvin and the others involved had any choice in the case of Reyes. After all, I wasn’t there. So it’s entirely plausible that the grand jury saw Chauvin and his associates as just doing their job and protecting themselves.
However, Klobuchar didn’t even care to look into the case to find out.
And Chauvin’s wasn’t the only case she did this to. In fact, both the Washington Post and the Star Tribune have noted that in more than “two dozen cases in which people were killed in encounters with police,” none of the officers were ever prosecuted by Klobuchar.
However, as the Post noted, Klobuchar went out of her way and “aggressively prosecuted smaller offenses such as vandalism and routinely sought longer-than-recommended sentences, including for minors.” The outlet added that “such prosecutions, done with the aim of curbing more serious crimes, have had mixed results and have been criticized for their disproportionate effect on poor and minority communities.”
Meanwhile, men like Chauvin, who seem intent on harming others, get to walk away unencumbered and left to make the same kind of decisions again.
As I mentioned before, we never really know what our life choices will bring. If Klobuchar had prosecuted Chauvin back in 2006, there is no guarantee that Floyd wouldn’t be dead today. However, the possibility of him being alive would be there.
What if, by just taking a few minutes to consider the case and notice a pattern that was already evident, she could have stopped the wrongful death of an innocent man? What if she could have prevented an entire city from destroying itself from the inside out?
Instead, she handed it off and took the easy way out. I think it’s safe to say that if Biden was ever seriously considering her for VP, she should be taken off the list now.