More than 20 Senate Democrats voted against a resolution this week to condemn the “disparaging treatment” of the Minnesota National Guard.
Upwards of 3,000 guardsmen were activated to help respond to civil unrest surrounding the Derek Chauvin trial, which concluded in dramatic fashion Tuesday when the former Minneapolis cop was found guilty on all counts.
Sen. Jeff Howe, R-Rockville, introduced a resolution Monday to condemn the “disparaging treatment” of guardsmen and recognize them for “responding once again without hesitation to the call to duty.”
The resolution also calls for the termination of “labor organization members and leadership responsible for the removal of the soldiers.”
“The National Guard had explicit permission to use the Labor Center for a staging area, and they used the space respectfully, caused no damage, and left when requested to do so,” Howe said in a statement.
“Yet even after they were booted out with no place to go, union members taunted them with disgusting remarks. The folks responsible for allowing these reprehensible actions to happen must be held accountable for their actions. It’s unconscionable that union leaders not only ordered the guard members to leave, but then also allowed the harassment of these members as they left peacefully,” he continued.
The resolution was adopted Monday without the support of 23 Senate Democrats.
Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent, DFL-Woodbury, said she opposes the resolution because it “represents political posturing.”
“It is adding to the tensions. It is playing with matches in a dry field,” Kent said of the resolution, which she voted against “out of protest for the very fact that we are spending our valuable time doing this when what we need to be doing is working on behalf of the people of Minnesota.”
Eight Democrats broke with party leadership and voted in favor of the resolution.
The Minnesota House, controlled by Democrats, passed a resolution earlier this year to condemn the Jan. 6 violence at the U.S. Capitol. It passed in a bipartisan vote of 111-8, with all eight nays being cast by Republicans. At the time, the resounding message from Democrats was that there could not be peace without accountability.