Minnesota Rep. John Thompson may not live in the district that elected him, according to documents related to his ongoing criminal case.
Thompson is in court this week facing charges related to a 2019 incident during which 50 to 75 people fought inside North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale. Thompson was originally charged with trespassing in relation to this incident but is now accused only of misdemeanor obstruction of the legal process. The state representative is fighting this charge and says that hospital security and the police were callous and racist towards the black brawlers, per KARE 11.
This obstruction case is unrelated to Thompson’s ongoing legal troubles and questions about his residency, which arose following a traffic stop that occurred during the predawn hours of July 4. Thompson was pulled over for not having a front license plate and publicly accused the officer involved of racial profiling. It was later revealed that he presented a Wisconsin driver’s license during this stop, does not have a local license and was suspended from driving in Minnesota at the time.
This has raised questions about Thompson’s residency, leading some to wonder if he’s actually a Minnesotan as Wisconsin only issues driver’s licenses to Wisconsinites. Thompson last renewed this ID the same month he was elected. Court papers that list his address as outside his district underscore these questions.
Reporter Lou Raguse asked Thompson if he’s currently living in his district and if he lived there at the time he was elected as the lawmaker departed a Hennepin County courtroom Wednesday.
I’m at Hennepin Co Court where MN State Rep John Thompson is on trial for a 2019 misdemeanor obstruction charge at North Memorial Hospital. When he briefly surfaced in the skyway level I attempted to ask him about the lingering residency Q’s stemming from his traffic stop pic.twitter.com/MQiH2AUbEn
— Lou Raguse (@LouRaguse) July 14, 2021
Thompson did not answer either question, but his lawyer said the representative “absolutely” lives in his district, even though the documents pertaining to his ongoing trial are being sent to a different address. The attorney explained this, saying that the address listed for Thompson in the court documents isn’t actually where he lives.
A KARE 11 photographer reportedly spoke with a neighbor who lives next to Thompson’s alleged out-of-district address found in the court papers. This neighbor stated that the representative was not home, implying that he does indeed live there.
The Minnesota Constitution requires that representatives live in their district during their term and 30 days prior to their election.
Although reporters are keen to get a word with Thompson as he enters and exits the courthouse amidst his ongoing trial, he’s mostly evaded them so far, using back stairwells and alternate exits.
State Rep. John Thompson used a back stairwell to leave the Hennepin County courthouse & avoid questions today.
From the courthouse, we shot video of him on the street.
Thompson was here for trial on misdemeanor obstruction stemming from a 2019 incident at North Memorial. pic.twitter.com/8gNwXxZod0
— Theo Keith (@TheoKeith) July 13, 2021