Amid allegations and calls to resign, Rep. John Thompson sentenced for obstructing police at a hospital

John Thompson
Rep. John Thompson in 2016 speaking with the St. Anthony City Council about racial bias in the city's police department.
Laura Yuen | MPR News 2016

Hennepin County Judge Michael Browne Wednesday sentenced DFL state Rep. John Thompson to six months probation and fined him $200 after a jury convicted him of obstructing the legal process. Thompson made the rare move to challenge the misdemeanor charge in court, saying he did so to defend himself and his reputation.

The charge stemmed from a 2019 incident at North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale, Minn., when prosecutors say Thompson blocked a door, shouted at staff and police and resisted arrest.

He and others were trying to visit a family friend being treated for a self-inflicted gunshot wound in late 2019, a year before Thompson was elected to office. He argues police were disrespectful to him and others at the hospital because they’re Black, but also says he respects the jury’s decision.

The state representative has come under scrutiny lately after claiming he was racially profiled when a police officer stopped his car and discovered he had a Wisconsin driver’s license. Fox 9 also reported several past allegations of domestic violence against Thompson, which led top DFL leaders, including Gov. Tim Walz, to call for his resignation from his St. Paul seat. Thompson denied the allegations and hasn’t yet made a decision about resigning.

In a letter to the House Republican leader Kurt Daudt, Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, says any formal complaint against Thompson would be heard by the Ethics Committee, but she says actions beyond that — like removal from committees or expulsion — shouldn’t be rushed.

Hortman hasn’t ruled out taking unilateral action against Thompson.

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