Gov. Tim Walz hasn’t commented on his endorsement of DFL House candidate John Thompson, who was at the center of a viral video captured by Alpha News in which he screamed profanities at a group of young girls and threatened to burn down a neighborhood.
Thompson’s actions occurred during a Saturday protest in Hugo, Minnesota outside the home of Bob Kroll, the president of the Minneapolis police union.
John Thompson, who recently won his Primary for 67A in St. Paul, goes off and screams at neighborhood children, residents, and neighbors of Police Union Leader Bob Kroll.
"F*CK, Hugo Minnesota!"
BLM protesters gathered today outside Kroll's home. pic.twitter.com/1vTaiTQsML
— Alpha News MN (@AlphaNewsMN) August 15, 2020
Walz endorsed Thompson earlier this summer in his race for House District 67A.
“I’ve known John for years. His fierce advocacy and commitment to his community is exactly what’s needed in the State Legislature right now. I look forward to working with him as the next state representative for 67A,” Walz said in his endorsement.
Alpha News reached out to Walz’s office Tuesday morning for comment on whether or not the governor stands by his endorsement. A deadline of 5 p.m. Wednesday was provided, but no response was received.
Walz issued a generic statement on Twitter Tuesday evening, but didn’t mention Thompson by name.
“We cannot accept the threatening behavior and rhetoric we’ve seen recently in our political discourse. When I talk about building One Minnesota, it doesn’t mean we all agree or that we won’t fight for what we believe in. It means we treat each other with decency and respect,” said Walz.
“It means that we change more minds and hearts through honest debates with our neighbors. And that we never stop seeing them as that: our neighbors,” he added.
It means that we change more minds and hearts through honest debates with our neighbors. And that we never stop seeing them as that: our neighbors.
— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) August 18, 2020
The Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists condemned Thompson’s behavior in a statement released Wednesday, since additional footage showed him beating an effigy of Kroll’s wife, Liz Collin, who is a reporter. Like Walz, the group made no mention of Thompson in its statement.
“The Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists supports the public’s constitutional right to protest peacefully, but views the destruction of Collin’s image on her private property to be a direct threat against her as a journalist,” said the statement. “We encourage the general public to use respectful and peaceful means to communicate dissatisfaction with journalists’ coverage, such as contacting them or their supervisors directly or demonstrating outside of their place of work, rather than using threats and intimidation to attack them personally.”