Amy Klobuchar once failed to prosecute Derek Chauvin, cop in Floyd death


Former Democratic presidential candidate and potential vice presidential pick Amy Klobuchar failed to get charges brought against the police officer involved in George Floyd’s death while serving as a county attorney in 2006, prompting criticism of her law enforcement background.

Derek Chauvin, the officer seen on video with a knee on Floyd’s neck Monday as Floyd begged for air, was one of six officers who fatally shot 42-year-old Wayne Reyes in 2006 after the man brandished a shotgun at the cops, according to a report by Minneapolis watchdog group Communities United Against Police Brutality.

The shooting occurred during Klobuchar’s tenure as Hennepin County attorney, but the case didn’t go before a grand jury until after she left office and later became a Minnesota senator, the Star Tribune reports.
Amy Klobuchar (right) in 2006 declined to prosecute Derek Chauvin, who is now at the center of the death of George Floyd.
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In 2008, a grand jury ultimately decided not to charge the officers with any wrongdoing in the shooting, the Guardian reports.

Klobuchar, who has been floated as a possible VP pick for presumed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, also did not criminally charge other cops involved in more than two dozen officer-involved fatalities that took place during her time as prosecutor from 1999 to 2006, according to the Star Tribune.

Those decisions were left to a grand jury, a common practice at the time, according to the newspaper.

In a statement released Friday, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office said Klobuchar had “no involvement” in the decision not to charge Chauvin in the shooting.

“Sen. Klobuchar’s last day in the office here was December 31 2006, and she had no involvement in the prosecution of this case at all,” the statement obtained by the New York Times read.

But the national outrage connected to Floyd’s death is now putting added pressure on Biden to pick a running mate who’s more aligned with “key audiences,” Aimee Allison, president of political group She The People, told the Star Tribune.

“We need to close the enthusiasm gap that Biden currently faces,” Allison said. “We need to have a VP pick that expands the capacity of the campaign to reach key audiences. Black women are key. Brown women are key. And Klobuchar does not do that.”

In March, Klobuchar admitted to the Washington Post that she didn’t have a “perfect record” as Hennepin County’s chief prosecutor, saying she wished she had taken more “individual responsibility” in the cases.

“But I promise you, every single day in that job, I tried to put myself in other people’s shoes to try to do the right thing,” she said.

Attempts to obtain Chauvin’s complete service record as a Minneapolis cop were unsuccessful Friday.

Klobuchar, meanwhile, said in a statement released Tuesday that Floyd’s “horrifying and gutwrenching” death called for immediate action.

“There must be a complete and thorough outside investigation into what occurred, and those involved in this incident must be held accountable,” Klobuchar’s statement read.