DFL House candidate John Thompson’s behavior was “grossly inappropriate,” but not in violation of any “felony statute,” authorities in Washington County said Monday night.
“During the event, John Thompson spoke and chose divisive, hurtful and inflammatory rhetoric to include berating children who were present. We have both received much communication regarding what was said,” Sheriff Dan Starry and County Attorney Pete Orput said in a joint statement.
“After investigation, the comments made by Mr. Thompson, though grossly inappropriate, do not violate any felony statute. We will continue further review of any other violations of state law or city ordinance, while allowing for First Amendment protected speech,” the statement continued.
Thompson was caught on film screaming profanities at a group of young girls and threatening to burn down a suburban neighborhood during a Saturday protest outside the home of Bob Kroll in Hugo, Minnesota.
John Thompson, who recently won his Primary for 67A in St. Paul, goes off and screams at neighborhood children, residents, and neighbors of Police Union Leader Bob Kroll.
"F*CK, Hugo Minnesota!"
BLM protesters gathered today outside Kroll's home. pic.twitter.com/1vTaiTQsML
— Alpha News MN (@AlphaNewsMN) August 15, 2020
“We coming for everything that you motherf–ers took from us,” said Thompson, a DFL-endorsed candidate who won his primary last week in House District 67A.
“This whole [expletive] state burned down for 20 [expletive] dollars. You think we give a f– about burning Hugo down?” he added.
Another video showed Thompson beating effigies of Kroll and his wife on their front driveway.
Kroll leads the Minneapolis police union and is a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump, while his wife, Liz Collin, is an anchor for WCCO. As head of the police union, Kroll vowed to fight for the jobs of the officers involved in the death of George Floyd, whom he believes were terminated without due process.
Thompson apologized for his comments in a statement released on his Facebook page Sunday night. However, he later deleted his initial apology and issued a new statement Monday afternoon.
“Inflammatory rhetoric is not how I want to address the important issues we’re facing, and I apologize. I’m not apologizing for my passion to fight injustice,” said the modified statement.
Thompson has received the endorsement of the Minnesota DFL Party, Attorney General Keith Ellison, Rep. Betty McCollum, and Gov. Tim Walz, who still has not commented on the matter.
Starry and Orput condemned Thompson for admonishing “the men and women wearing the Sheriff’s Office uniform that were present to protect all citizens in this instance.”
“We stand by the deputies that serve Washington County on a daily basis and are proud of their selfless and honorable service,” their statement concluded. “We would like to thank all the agencies that assisted us with providing this protection. Lastly we would like to thank all those that have contacted our office to discuss our response and subsequent investigation. We value your input.”