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Rep. John Thompson Apologized To Sergeant Who Pulled Him Over, SPPD Says

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The St. Paul Police Department says embattled state Rep. John Thompson has apologized to the sergeant he accused of racially profiling him during a traffic stop earlier this month.

The department said Johnson showed up to the Western District offices "unexpectedly" and had a "very brief" conversation with the sergeant.

The sergeant pulled Thompson over near the intersection of Seventh Street East and Wacouta Street early in the morning of July 4. According to the police department, the reason for the stop was that Thompson's car did not have a front license plate.

Thompson responded to the ticket by accusing the officer of racially profiling him, but the sergeant reiterated the stop was for the license plate, which is required by state law.

Rep. John Thompson Traffic Stop
A still from body camera footage of Rep. Thompson's traffic stop (credit: St. Paul Police)

"You pulled me over because you saw a Black face in this car, brother," Thompson said in body camera footage of the stop. "You looked at me in this car, you looked in this car and busted a U-turn and got behind this car."

The stop set off a series of scandals for Thompson, a DFLer who represents St. Paul's east side. First, questions about Thompson's residence emerged after he gave the officer a Wisconsin driver's license during the traffic stop. The address listed on his July 4 ticket is a St. Paul address that's not in his district.

In recent days, Republican and Democratic leaders, including Gov. Tim Walz, have called for Johnson to step down after reports of domestic assault allegations emerged over the weekend. Thompson denies the allegations, saying through his attorney that he questions the authenticity of the police reports. The lawmaker has never been convicted of domestic abuse.

House Speaker Melissa Hortman said she will refer any ethics complaints regarding Thompson to the Ethics Committee. In response, House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt said he was "disappointed in Speaker Hortman's inaction" and criticized the DFL for "[refusing] to take any steps to hold him accountable."

Thompson initially rejected calls for his resignation, but on Wednesday, his lawyer said he would take some time to consider resignation after being found guilty in a 2019 hospital disturbance.

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