John Thompson faces calls to resign, release footage of police encounter

Thompson has allegedly beaten a woman, issued terroristic threats, failed to pay child support, doesn't have a Minnesota ID and now faces further legal problems related to a suspension of his driving privileges.

State Rep. John Thompson speaks at a rally outside the Governor's Residence earlier this month. (Alpha News/YouTube)

There have been calls made for state Rep. John Thompson to resign as he faces new criminal proceedings and his violent past comes to light.

Thompson exploded onto the Minnesota political scene last summer after he encouraged a crowd to burn down the town of Hugo, home of the former Minneapolis police union president, during a rally last summer. Now an elected state legislator, he continues to find himself embroiled in legal controversies. Earlier this week, he was pulled over, revealing that his Minnesota driving privileges have been suspended since 2019 and he doesn’t even have a Minnesota ID — his is from Wisconsin.

In fact, the Pioneer Press reports that Thompson renewed his Wisconsin driver’s license in November 2020, the same month he was elected to the Minnesota House. This means he may have committed perjury either way — he either lied about being a resident of the district he was elected to represent, or he lied to Wisconsin authorities about being a resident of their state.

In light of this, the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association (MPPOA) has suggested that Thompson should vacate his office.

“Thompson’s public record of violent crime is extensive and alarming. There have been serious violent charges, such as making terroristic threats, several incidents of domestic assault, and trespassing … He even has a criminal trial starting next week … These criminal charges, created by his own actions … make him unfit to serve in the Minnesota Legislature,” the MPPOA said.

Thompson’s history of domestic assault accusations spans both Minnesota and Wisconsin, where he either used to reside or still does reside. In a 2004 police report obtained by Alpha News, a former girlfriend that he used to live with told officers he beat and choked her, breaking the phone she tried to use to dial 911 and locking her in an Eagan, Minnesota, apartment.

“I’ll choke you until you can’t breathe anymore,” he allegedly told his victim as he strangled her, leaving marks that were later observed by the responding officers.

In this same report, the victim claims Thompson also assaulted her in 2003 in Wisconsin, leaving her with a concussion and him behind bars.

According to the report, Thompson threatened to kill the victim “several times” and she believed “he is capable of doing this.” It appears Thompson was convicted of disorderly conduct in the 2004 case, while the domestic assault charge was dismissed.

Presently, Thompson is involved in legal proceedings related to last Sunday’s traffic stop, which revealed that he was not allowed to drive in Minnesota as a penalty for not paying child support dating back to 2019. While his ability to drive has since been restored, state Rep. Jeremy Munson and others have noted that violating a suspension of driving privileges should result in another 60-day suspension. It is unclear if Thompson will be held to this legal standard.

Meanwhile, Thompson maintains that he was only stopped recently because he is black. The St. Paul police chief says he reviewed footage of the stop and it “had absolutely nothing to do with the driver’s race.” In order to settle this matter for the public, the MPPOA has demanded that Thompson sign a form authorizing the release of this footage. Body-camera footage cannot be publicized without the consent of the non-officer individuals who are seen in the recording.

Some have noted the irony of Thompson’s unwillingness to release the video. “Thompson’s signature issue at the State Legislature was advocating for rapid release of police officers’ body camera footage. Now he’s blocking the public release of body camera footage of his own incident with law enforcement this past week,” observed MPPOA Executive Director Brian Peters.

“Is John Thompson afraid of the truth?” added state Rep. Eric Lucero. “Release the video, John Thompson.”

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