St. Paul, MN – The Minnesota state representative who allegedly lied about being racially profiled during a traffic stop on Independence Day is now facing calls from Minnesota Democratic lawmakers and the governor to resign due to a slew of recently-uncovered domestic violence allegations.
While searching for information regarding Minnesota State Representative John Thompson’s (DFL-St. Paul) state of residency, KMSP stumbled upon four domestic violence cases involving the lawmaker.
The incidents, which allegedly occurred between 2003 and 2010, involved accusations that Thompson choked, hit, and punched multiple women, KMSP reported.
Some of the alleged incidents occurred in front of children.
The first case allegedly took place in Superior, Wisconsin in October of 2003, KMSP reported.
In that instance, Thompson was accused of hitting his girlfriend in her face in a grocery store parking lot in front of her five-year-old daughter.
The victim said she and her child were homeless and refused to cooperate with the investigation, KMSP reported.
Thompson fled the scene and went on the fight with police when he was located.
He ended up pleading guilty to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct, as well as resisting arrest.
Thompson was arrested in August of 2004 for allegedly strangling the same girlfriend with a phone cord, KMSP reported.
“I’ll choke you until you can’t breathe anymore,” he allegedly told her during the ordeal.
The victim managed to escape the apartment and screamed for help, but Thompson allegedly grabbed her dragged her back inside, police said.
The woman told investigators she tried to jump through a window, but was unsuccessful.
She said she ultimately found another phone and dialed 911, at which point Thompson became enraged.
He allegedly punched her in the face and struck her in the head before throwing her into a kitchen table, breaking it, KMSP reported.
The woman’s daughter and Thompson’s two sons witnessed the alleged assault.
She told police Thompson also verbally abused her the day prior at the apartment complex’s pool.
“F—k you. F—k your daughter. I hope you both die,” he allegedly said.
Another domestic violence incident involving Thompson occurred in September of 2009, when he allegedly got into an argument with two women regarding a cell phone another girlfriend had given him, according to KMSP.
According to St. Paul police, witnesses said children were present when Thompson pulled out his penis during the argument and proclaimed, “I’m the man, you can all suck my d—k,” KMSP reported.
Thompson denied having exposed himself and the Ramsey County Attorney refused to file charges against him.
St. Paul police were dealing with another alleged domestic violence incident involving Thompson just six months later.
During that ordeal, another woman claimed Thompson pulled out his penis in front of children and her relatives and ordered her to “kiss the tip,” police said.
The woman, who said she had been with Thompson for 11 years and was the mother of two of his children, told police he later grabbed her around the neck with both hands and threatened to “choke” her until her “voice box stops,” KMSP reported.
The Ramsey County Attorney also refused to file charges in that case “due to several issues, delayed 911 call, poor witness info, (and) victim stated she was fired up and doesn’t remember who attacked who first,” police said.
The state representative is also currently on trial for a disorderly conduct case in Hennepin County, KMSP reported.
“We are currently focused on the trial and do not have time to dissect these police reports from 10-18 years ago,” his attorney, Jordan Kushner, told the news outlet. “Mr. Thompson does deny the allegations. The end results speak for themselves.”
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and several of the state’s top Democrat leaders quickly distanced themselves from Thompson as news of the prior allegations spread.
“The alleged acts of violence against multiple women outlined in these reports are serious and deeply disturbing,” Walz said in a statement to the Star Tribune. “Minnesotans deserve representatives of the highest moral character, who uphold our shared values. Rep. Thompson can no longer effectively be that leader and he should immediately resign.”
Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, State DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin, House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, and DFL House Speaker Melissa Hortman also joined Walz in calling for Thompson’s resignation, the Star Tribune reported.
“Rep. Thompson ran for office to advance progressive policies, but his recent actions, and unacceptable reports of abuse and misconduct, have become an impediment to that work,” Hortman and Winkler said in a joint statement.
House Republican Minority Leader Kurt Daudt said an ethics complaint will be filed against Thompson over the allegations, the Star Tribune reported.
Thompson is already awaiting a hearing on Friday after Representative Eric Lucero (D-Dayton) filed a totally unrelated complaint against him for calling him a racist on the House floor, according to the paper.
The outburst constituted a violation of House conduct, Lucero alleged.
Kushner said on Saturday Thompson has no intentions of stepping down.
“[He] maintains the allegations are false and he was never found guilty of them in a court,” the lawyer told the Star Tribune. “It’s a shame that there’s no concern about due process.”
Kushner further claimed the reports were nothing more than a “smear campaign” propagated by law enforcement groups to victimize his client.
“The police reports are a product of the campaign to silence an American African man who speaks out against powerful and abusive interests, and not the product of any effort to uncover truth,” he alleged.
“If these police reports existed in their current form, it is unfathomable that the many people digging into Mr. Thompson’s past would not have found those police reports before the November election much less during the ensuing months,” Kushner claimed.
Governor Walz responded to those claims with skepticism.
“I think it would be very unusual for three different police departments stretching over a decade to fabricate information,” the governor responded.
The questions regarding Thompson’s residency were raised after Thompson gave police a Wisconsin driver’s license during a traffic stop in St. Paul on July 4.
He had renewed the out-of-state license as recently as November of 2020.
Thompson claimed police racially profiled hm during the traffic stop – an allegation St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell publicly denounced.
Chief Axtell called Thompson out in a Facebook post on July 9, demanding he apologize to the sergeant who cited him for driving while suspended.
He said the encounter between the St. Paul police sergeant and Thompson occurred while the sergeant was working a “Toward Zero Deaths” traffic safety detail.
The grant-funded initiative, which is administered by the state, is aimed at ensuring compliance with traffic laws, the chief noted.
During the detail, the sergeant spotted a vehicle being operated without a front license plate and stopped the driver, who was identified as Thompson.
According to police, Thompson identified himself as a state lawmaker during the stop and gave the sergeant a driver’s license issued out of Wisconsin, WCCO reported.
He also accused the sergeant of racially profiling him, according to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press.
“The sergeant reiterated that he’d been stopped because the vehicle he was driving did not have a front license plate, which is required by state law,” St. Paul Police Department spokesperson Steve Linders told the paper.
Thompson ended up being cited for driving on a suspended Minnesota license, WCCO reported.
The state representative mentioned the stop during a rally honoring Philando Castile that took place outside the governor’s office on July 6, KSTP reported.
“We’re still getting ‘driving while black’ tickets in this state and in fact in St. Paul,” Thompson told the crowd during the gathering. “So, let’s just call it what it is, right.”
“I shouldn’t have to be profiled, so this is ridiculous,” he declared. “Oh, and by the way, it was a sergeant here in St. Paul by the way. We promote bad behavior.”
Chief Axtell said he was “shocked” to learn that Thompson had accused the sergeant of “making the stop based on race.”
He immediately took action.
“These aren’t accusations I take lightly, so I looked into the traffic stop, watched the body worn camera footage and spoke to the sergeant,” the chief wrote in the Facebook post.
Chief Axtell concluded Thompson’s allegations were utterly false.
“This stop, made at about 1:20 in the morning, had absolutely nothing to do with the driver’s race. What it did involve was a public servant doing what the community asks of him,” the chief wrote. “Simply put, the traffic stop was by the books. What happened afterwards was anything but.”
Chief Axtell said he is “dismayed and disappointed” by how Thompson handled the incident.
“Rather than taking responsibility for his own decisions and actions, he attempted to deflect, cast aspersions and deny any wrongdoing,” he continued.
Now, he needs to own up to what took place, the chief said of the state politician.
“At the Saint Paul Police Department, we work hard to be fair, to treat everyone with respect and to lead by example. We also take responsibility for our actions. When we make mistakes, we own them and try to fix them. It’s what our community expects of its public servants,” Chief Axtell wrote.
“The driver, an elected official who does not dispute driving without a front license plate, owes our sergeant an apology,” he concluded.
According to Minnesota Department of Public Safety spokesperson Doug Neville, Thompson’s license was revoked in April of 2019 due to his failure to pay child support, WCCO reported.
On July 7, several days after receiving the citation, Thompson resolved the child support issue and his license was reinstated, Neville said.
Thompson said he has lived in Minnesota for nearly 20 years, but that he never switched his driver’s license from Wisconsin to Minnesota, the Twin Cities Pioneer Press reported.
Under Minnesota law, new residents who want to drive are required to apply for a Minnesota driver’s license within 60 days of becoming a Minnesota resident.
Although he violated the law and never obtained a license in Minnesota, the state is still able to suspend Minnesota driver’s license privileges, the Twin Cities Pioneer Press reported.
Thompson’s court order requiring him to pay child support was originally issued in 2010.