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George Floyd’s death puts Klobuchar on defense

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Former presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar has been put back into the spotlight during the George Floyd case in Minneapolis. The senator has been forced to defend her record as the former Hennepin County Prosecutor. The extra attention comes at a time when Klobuchar is positioning herself to be the Democrat nominee for vice president.

Klobuchar has faced criticism for years about her tenure as county attorney and the fact that she did not bring criminal charges in cases including police-involved deaths. 

Now Floyd’s death, and the national focus on police misconduct, is putting the spotlight back on Klobuchar.

In 2006, the officer at the center of the Floyd death, Derek Chauvin, was one of six officers involved in the shooting of a man allegedly involved in a stabbing. The incident took place while Klobuchar was still county prosecutor. At the time, she was actively campaigning for her current U.S. Senate seat and the case was primarily handled by her eventual successor.

Reports that Klobuchar failed to prosecute Chauvin in 2006 began circulating online after Floyd’s death. She immediately said the reports were false.

“This idea that I somehow declined a case, which has been reported on some news blogs … against this officer is absolutely false. It is a lie. I don’t know what else to say about it … it is a lie. The case was investigated. … That investigation continued into a time where I was already sworn in to the U.S. Senate,” Klobuchar said during an interview with MSNBC.

The new criticism comes after a March Washington Post opinion piece written by female African American activists urged Vice President Joe Biden to avoid Klobuchar as his running mate.

“A choice such as Senator Amy Klobuchar, who failed to prosecute controversial police killings will only alienate black voters,” they wrote.

South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn who is a close friend of Biden’s told reporters that Floyd’s death would definitely have an impact on Biden’s decision.

“We are all victims sometimes of timing. This is very tough timing for Amy Klobuchar,” said Clyburn.

Sen. Klobuchar declined to take herself out of the running for vice president this weekend saying that Biden would make the decision for himself, and for the country.

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