Klobuchar: I Should Have Handled Police Cases Differently

As prosecutor, she passed on making decision on charges, sending cases to grand juries
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2020 4:39 PM CDT

(Newser) – With Joe Biden considering her for his running mate, Sen. Amy Klobuchar is being questioned about her record. That includes her tenure as a prosecutor in Minneapolis. In her seven years, Klobuchar handled cases not unlike the one tearing apart the city now. When presented with cases against police officers involved in shootings, the New York Times reports, Klobuchar regularly declined to bring charges. Instead, she sent the cases to a grand jury, a process that experts say generally favors police. "I think that was wrong now," Klobuchar told MSNBC on Friday, per the Week. "It would have been much better if I took responsibility and looked at cases and made a decision myself." The Minnesota senator said she was not involved in a 2006 case involving Derrick Chavin, the officer charged Friday in the death of George Floyd. Klobuchar said she was elected to the Senate before that case was heard, and the county prosecutor's office said she wasn't involved in it.

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Of the cases she did take up, Klobuchar said Friday: "We did not blow off these cases. We brought them to a grand jury, presented the evidence for a potential criminal prosecution, and the grand jury would come back with the decision." She declined to answer when asked if she should take herself out of the running for the Democratic ticket. Black leaders have lobbied against her selection, and she didn't help herself this week with her reaction to Floyd's death. Her first statement, urging an outside investigation, was criticized for not mentioning Floyd's name or saying he was killed by police, as well as for not calling for charges to be filed. She has since been in contact with leaders including the Rev. Al Sharpton. "I'd like to see her do more, I'd like to see her be more aggressive in calling for intervention here," he said. Klobuchar did call for charges to be filed Friday, minutes before the announcement was made. (Read more Amy Klobuchar stories.)

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