Just ten days before drunkenly totaling his county-owned vehicle, Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson said police officers who break the law ought to be fired.
“We want to praise and hold our good cops and deputies to the highest standard possible, support them 100% of the time,” he said. “But if cops do stupid stuff and they break the law, they break policy, let’s get rid of them!”
Hutchinson’s remarks are particularly ironic given his steadfast refusal to resign as Hennepin County sheriff. He wrecked his squad car on Dec. 8 while heading home from a sheriffs’ conference and was convicted of fourth-degree driving while intoxicated. His sentence consisted of two years’ probation and a $610 fine.
“I am fully committed to continuing to serve the people of Hennepin County who elected me. I will let the citizens, not politicians, decide my future in November,” he said in a recent statement.
On Gov. Tim Walz’s part, he has yet to comment on Hutchinson’s ordeal, let alone call on him to resign. As a gubernatorial candidate, Walz endorsed him for Hennepin County sheriff in 2018.
“I proudly support Dave Hutch for Hennepin County Sheriff,” the endorsement read. “For the last 15 years as a law enforcement officer, Dave has worked tirelessly to improve the safety and health of Minnesota communities. His proven commitment to transparency will foster public trust while improving public safety. Dave will bring open, innovative, values-based leadership to the sheriff’s office.”
Hutchinson also received endorsements from Rep. Ilhan Omar and Minneapolis City Council Member Jeremiah Ellison, both of whom expressed full-throated support for “defunding the police” in 2020.
“While I work to combat bigotry in Washington, Dave Hutch will fight against it here at home in Hennepin County,” Omar said in her endorsement. “He treats everyone he encounters with dignity, and will make sure people of all communities feel protected and respected. He is ready to do the work of building a relationship between the police and the community.”