After endorsing former Marine Tyler Kistner in 2020, the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association (MPPOA) did a 180 this year and announced it is endorsing Kistner’s opponent for reelection.
Democrat U.S. Rep. Angie Craig narrowly beat Kistner by 2 percentage points in 2020, and the two are in a rematch this year.
Although Craig was vocally opposed to the effort to abolish the Minneapolis Police Department, she has aligned herself with anti-law enforcement initiatives and people in the past.
In 2021, she traveled to Los Angeles to fundraise with a liberal group that has repeatedly called to defund the police.
She cosponsored and voted for H.R. 1280, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021. The bill “makes it easier for the federal government to successfully prosecute police misconduct cases,” eliminates qualified immunity for police, and bans the use of chokeholds and no-knock warrants.
The bill passed the House but it never made it to the Senate.
“The House has passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act earlier this year, and the Senate must act now,” Craig said in an April 2021 statement.
The Congressional Budget Office found the bill would have cost some police departments millions of dollars to comply with.
Craig told the Star Tribune earlier this month that she has changed her stance on qualified immunity.
“Knowing what I know now and how attacks on law enforcement have negatively impacted recruitment and retention and morale and how these factors hurt public safety efforts, I think that qualified immunity must remain in place for our law enforcement officers,” she told the outlet.
According to a February 2022 Washington Free Beacon article, one of Craig’s top state staffers openly called for defunding the police, downplayed the destruction of the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct, and asked her Twitter followers to donate to the Minnesota Freedom Fund.
Just this February, Craig touted her support of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in a statement on the police shooting of Amir Locke.
“My heart goes out to the friends and family of Amir Locke, who are experiencing a heartbreaking tragedy that has become far too common for communities of color in this country. The footage released from the shooting is highly disturbing — and raises serious questions about the department’s use of no-knock warrants, which all too often lead to tragic and deadly outcomes,” she said in a statement.
According to Breitbart, Craig voted against a motion to condemn calls for defunding the police.
Craig also accepted $5,000 in campaign donations from a super PAC affiliated with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the faces of the defund the police movement.
“Organizations often endorse incumbents because they think it’s a safe bet. Congresswoman Craig voted twice to strip qualified immunity from our police officers, putting them at greater risk,” said Tyler Dunn, Kistner’s campaign manager. “Tyler Kistner’s support for law enforcement will never waiver. Minnesotans will reject Angie Craig’s failed record in November.”
Since the death of George Floyd many police associations and unions nationwide have aligned themselves with Republicans. Democrats have been characterized as soft on crime and major drivers in the anti-police movement following high-profile police killings of black men.
Craig’s campaign issued a statement praising the MPPOA.
“I am honored to have earned the endorsement of the MPPOA, and I will continue to work with the men and women in uniform who do critical work to keep our communities safe,” Craig said in a statement on her website.
“Rep. Craig has supported and helped pass many pieces of bipartisan legislation to support law enforcement agencies, police officers, and their families,” MPPOA Executive Director Brian Peters said in a statement.
Minnesota’s Second District is closely watched around the country because it is seen as one of the best pickup opportunities for House Republicans.
Sheila Qualls is an award-winning journalist and former civilian editor of an Army newspaper. Prior to joining Alpha News, she was a Christian Marriage and Family columnist at Patheos.com and a personal coach. Her work has been published in The Upper Room, the MOPS blog, Grown and Flown, and The Christian Post. She speaks nationally on issues involving faith and family.