Amy Klobuchar
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Amy Klobuchar on claims she didn’t charge Derek Chauvin in 2006 shooting: ‘It’s a lie’


Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar on Friday denied reports that she failed to get charges brought against the police officer involved in George Floyd’s death for a fatal shooting while serving as a county attorney in 2006, calling it a flat-out “lie.”

“This idea that I somehow declined a case…against this officer is absolutely false. It is a lie,” Klobuchar, who served as Hennepin County attorney from 1998 to 2006, said during an MSNBC interview.

The former Democratic presidential candidate and potential vice presidential pick denounced the reports she that failed to get charges brought against Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis cop who was captured on video with his knee on Floyd’s neck as he begged for air before dying Monday, for the deadly shooting of another man in 2006.

“I don’t know what else to say about it then it is a lie,” said Klobuchar, explaining that “the case was investigated.”

“That investigation continued into a time when I was already sworn into the US Senate,” she said. “I never declined the case. It was handled and sent to the grand jury by my successor.”

“The decisions were made when I was in the US Senate,” Klobuchar said.

A grand jury ultimately decided not to charge Chauvin or other officers involved in the 2006 shooting with any wrongdoing.

After being asked by reporter Andrea Mitchell about a slew of other police brutality cases that went uncharged under Klobuchar’s tenure as county attorney, Klobuchar said she now believes that the process of letting the grand jury handle the cases “was wrong.”

“Back when I was the county attorney, the cases that we had involving officer involving shootings went to a grand jury. That was true in every jurisdiction across our state and that was true in many jurisdictions across the country,” she said. “I think that was wrong now.”

“I think it was better if I took the responsibility and looked at the cases and made the decision myself,” she said, clarifying, “Let me make this clear — we did not blow off these cases.”

Klobuchar continued, “We brought them to a grand jury, presented the evidence for a potential criminal prosecution and the grand jury would come back with a decision.”

During the interview, Klobuchar said “there is systematic racism” and that “there must be change.”

“If George Floyd’s death has any legacy — because he will never be brought back — it should be systematic change to our criminal justice system in Minnesota and across the country,” she said.

When asked by Mitchell whether Klobuchar should be disqualified from consideration of Joe Biden’s vice president pick based on her actions during her time as county attorney, Klobuchar said, “This is Joe Biden’s decision and he was an excellent vice president and he’s going to make the best decision for him for, our country, for the [coronavirus] pandemic and the crisis we’re facing.”

Klobuchar noted that when she was county attorney the African American incarceration rate went down by 12 percent.