Representative John Thompson released a statement on Monday regarding a traffic stop where he was pulled over for not having a front license plate and was cited for driving with suspended privileges. Thompson had claimed that the traffic stop was racially motivated, but failed to give any evidence to back up his claims. There have been calls by lawmakers to release the bodycam footage of the incident. The statement from Thompson says that while the officer won’t be seen doing anything not “by the book,” the book needs to be rewritten.
Rep. John Thomson, who represents St. Paul’s East Side, issued this statement tonight. pic.twitter.com/sZoiyzDYzQ
— Mara Gottfried (@MaraGottfried) July 13, 2021
In the same stop, it was discovered that Thompson did not hold a Minnesota driver’s license. Thompson also commented on that, saying that he “previously lived in Wisconsin.” According to his statement, he offered an explanation for his Wisconsin license, saying he was considering moving back to Wisconsin to care for a family member. He said he has lived and worked in St. Paul for “many years.” He also said that his holding a Wisconsin driver’s license hadn’t “posed an issue” before, despite Minnesota law requiring new residents of Minnesota to switch their licenses over within 60 days of moving to the state. The last time Thompson renewed his license in Wisconsin was in November 2020, when he was elected State Representative for the east side of St. Paul.
In his statement Thompson also addressed the issue of his suspended driver’s license, as it came to light that it was suspended for failing to pay child support. He said, “During my stop I was also informed that my license had been suspended for a minor child support issue, one which was resolved long ago. I owe $0 in child support.” According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, both Wisconsin and Minnesota will not revoke driving privileges until child support payments have been delinquent for over three months.
The bodycam footage of the incident has not been released. However, Thompson did give permission for that to happen.
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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | Star News Network and The College Fix. She graduated with a degree in Communications from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. Send news tips to [email protected]
Photo “Minneapolis Police Department” by Tony Webster. CC BY-SA 2.0.