WCCO claims to be lacking evidence that Attorney General Keith Ellison is “anti-cop,” as a Republican Attorneys General Association ad has it.
The station ran a fact-check on the ad Monday, asking for “more specifics” on the “serious accusations” that Ellison has been “anti-cop forever” and “supports convicts.”
In the article, University of Minnesota professor Larry Jacobs, without specifying, said “some” of the “claims” in the ad are “outright wrong.”
Much of this information on Ellison has been discussed in the past. Power Line’s Scott Johnson has been writing about Ellison’s early life on and off for the past 15 years. All of the information is based on publicly available newspaper articles and interviews.
Here are the “specifics”:
- Ellison spoke at and helped organize an October 1992 rally against Minneapolis police. He appeared alongside former Vice Lords gang leader Sharif Willis, who was the last speaker at the rally. Willis’ nephew was one of the getaway drivers in the September 1992 execution of Minneapolis police officer Jerry Haaf. Willis himself was never charged in connection to Haaf’s murder, but two witnesses testified at trial that Willis ordered and planned the execution. During that rally, Ellison told the crowd “that the police union is systematically frightening whites in order to get more police officers hired.”
- In February 1993, Ellison attended a rally at the Hennepin County Government Center for A.C. Ford, one of the four men convicted in Haaf’s execution. Ellison led the crowd in a chant of, “We don’t get no justice, you don’t get no peace.”
- Ellison represented Willis in 1995 when he was arrested (and later convicted) for holding a dozen people at gunpoint in a north Minneapolis gas station.
- Haaf’s daughter said it was “like someone stabbing us” when Ellison was elected as attorney general in 2018.
- Ellison described Minneapolis police as “vicious” and “wolves in sheep’s clothing” during a 1989 demonstration for an elderly couple killed in a mistaken police raid.
- He called the Minneapolis Police Department an “occupying force” that views “the inner city as enemy territory” during a 1993 panel. When asked if police should be required to live in Minneapolis, he said he personally wouldn’t want “some of these individuals living near me.”
- In a 1993 interview, he criticized “hysterical” voters who supported hiring more police to deal with high crime.
- Ellison spoke at a 2000 fundraiser for former Symbionese Liberation Army member Kathleen Soliah, who changed her name to Sara Jane Olson and evaded law enforcement until 1999. That year, she was arrested and later pleaded guilty to charges stemming from her role in the 1975 attempted bombings of Los Angeles police officers. She also pleaded guilty to her involvement in a bank robbery that resulted in the death of a pregnant woman.
- The Pioneer Press and CNN have both confirmed these facts. According to the Pioneer Press, “Ellison emerged as an Olson supporter” for a “brief period” and “questioned whether she was being tried for her political beliefs.” CNN said “Ellison publicly defended violent, fringe elements of the far-left.”
- During that 2000 speech, Ellison spoke favorably of convicted cop killer Assata Shakur, who escaped from prison in 1979 and fled to Cuba. Ellison expressed his opposition to extraditing Shakur. Indeed, he prayed for her continued shelter in Cuba.
- In 2018, Ellison posed with a copy of “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook,” a book that endorses political violence. Agitators who claim an affiliation with Antifa have “targeted law enforcement,” according to the Anti Defamation League. Ellison’s son went out of his way to formally declare his “support for Antifa.”
- At the height of the George Floyd riots, Ellison encouraged activists to be nicer to the Minnesota National Guard than the Minneapolis Police Department.