ST. PAUL, Minnesota (AP) – An outspoken Minnesota lawmaker charged with driver license violation claims he was racially profiled.
The quote said State Representative John Thompson, a St. Paul Democrat who is black, presented a Wisconsin driver’s license during a traffic stop in St. Paul over the weekend, St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.
His Minnesota driving license was revoked because of a child support problem, said Doug Neville, a spokesman for the public safety department. They were reinstated on Wednesday “after taking care of child support issues,” he said.
Although Thompson has never had a driver’s license in Minnesota, the state can still revoke the license, according to the agency.
Thompson, who said he had lived in the capital for more than 18 years, told the newspaper Thursday that he kept his driver’s license in Wisconsin and not switched it to one in Minnesota. Minnesota law requires drivers to apply for a Minnesota license within 60 days of obtaining residency.
Police denied that Thompson had a racist profile. Spokesman Steve Linders said Thompson was pulled over Sunday because he did not have a front license plate. He said Thomson was not cited for this, not even because he had a driver’s license from another state, but because of driving after the lockdown.
Thompson said he previously “had no idea” that his privileges had been suspended.
Thompson announced that he was stopped on Tuesday during a memorial service for Philando Castile, who was Thompson’s friend and was killed by a police officer in 2016.
“I’m still getting profiled,” Thompson said in comments shared on social media. “In fact, I was just pulled over Saturday. The old supposed stop. ‘You don’t have a front license plate.’ And I got a ticket for my license. Anyway, I thought we weren’t making any ostensible stopovers here in the state. But we are. You can still get tickets for driving during Schwarz in the state. “
Thompson is a member of the People of Color and Indigenous Caucus in the legislature, which is pushing for changes to police laws, including ending stops on minor violations that activists say are often used to racially profile black drivers.
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