Victimhood has become currency in our society, and there’s nothing healthy or normal about it. One example of that came recently via a Minnesota politician named John Thompson. The state representative caused waves by claiming that he had been racially profiled by the police. He shared his sob story at a social justice event after being pulled over, saying that an officer had targeted him for “driving while black.”
In reality, he didn’t have a front license plate, which is required in Minnesota. Not only that, Thompson was driving on a suspended Wisconsin driver’s license. The reason it was suspended? Because he had failed to pay child support. Not only is this guy a liar, but he also moonlights as a deadbeat apparently.
Now, the body-cam footage has been released, and it shows that Thompson’s account of a racist officer targeting him is simply false. This per Fox News.
Thompson then asks in the video why he was pulled over, which the officer said was due to his car having “No front plate, and the way you took off from the light back there.”
“I’m too old to run from the police, man,” Thompson says. “You profiled me because you looked me dead in the face and I got a ticket for driving while Black. You pulled me over because you saw a Black face in this car, brother. There’s no way in hell I’m taking off with you behind me. … You looked in this car and busted a U-turn and got behind my car, and that’s the reason – ”
The officer then tells the state representative that the interaction is being recorded on a bodycam.
“I know. But what I’m saying is, what you’re doing is wrong, to Black men,” he says. “And you need to stop that. Thank you so much, but this ticket means nothing to me … What I’m saying to you is stop racially profiling Black men in their cars sir. Stop doing that.”
The officer argues he was not racially profiling him, and eventually tells Thompson to have a good night and walks away.
It was 1:20 AM when this traffic stop occurred. The idea that the officer could have even seen this guy was black prior to pulling him over through his obviously tinted windows is a stretch. Regardless, nothing in the video shows that he was profiled or bullied in any way. In fact, the officer seemed rather lenient, allowing him to drive off on a suspended license.
Thompson tried to flaunt his privilege by letting it be known he was a state representative, but that hardly is a free pass to get out of a ticket. His accusations are backed up by no part of the video.
The police chief in St. Paul demanded an apology, noting that this is not the kind of thing anyone should be lying about.
“These aren’t accusations I take lightly, so I looked into the traffic stop, watched the body worn camera footage and spoke to the sergeant,” Axtell wrote in a Facebook post on Friday. “This stop, made at about 1:20 in the morning, had absolutely nothing to do with the driver’s race.”
“Simply put, the traffic stop was by the books,” Axtell continued. “What happened afterwards was anything but, I’m dismayed and disappointed by the state representative’s response to the stop. Rather than taking responsibility for his own decisions and actions, he attempted to deflect, cast aspersions and deny any wrongdoing.”
Of note is that I’m considered white as far as I know, and I’ve been pulled over for not having a front license plate. It wasn’t in Minnesota, but rather, in Texas. People get pulled over for this kind of stuff all the time, especially after midnight when the police already have their guard up.
Lying about racism is dangerous. It causes divisions, but it also puts officers in a position to be targeted in the future. Thompson should be ashamed of himself. You’ll be less than shocked to learn he’s not, though. In fact, he’s already doubled down.
He did post a message on Facebook Sunday reading: “I know why I have a (target) on my back. But just know slander wont (sic) work either!!! Im (sic) not going to stop applying pressure!!”
How do people like this get elected to public office? And Thompson is also under scrutiny for possibly not even living in his district (which would explain why he has a Wisconsin license). The voting dynamics in these inner-city areas are just mind-numbing at times. I’m not expecting a Republican to be elected in St. Paul, but is this really the best that the city has to offer?