Police association slams Rep. Brad Tabke for refusing to condemn John Thompson

Gov. Tim Walz, who endorsed Thompson, hasn’t said yet if he’ll rescind his endorsement of Thompson.

Minnesota’s largest police association is hitting back after a DFL lawmaker claimed black men are “murdered by law enforcement time and time again” without “repercussions.”

State Rep. Brad Tabke, DFL-Shakopee, lost the endorsement of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association (MPPOA) earlier this month after he refused to put a condemnation of House candidate John Thompson in writing. Tabke was one of several DFL lawmakers to lose the MPPOA’s endorsement because of their support for Thompson, a St. Paul Democrat who threatened to burn down a neighborhood last month.

Tabke then accused the police association of caving to “political pressure” after it rescinded the endorsement.

“It is sad to me that they are indicating that working together to solve the big problems we have in Minnesota is no longer valued,” Tabke said in a statement.

“Black men have been murdered by law enforcement time and time again on our streets throughout Minnesota with few – if any – repercussions,” he added.

Seeking to “set the record straight on a variety of items,” the MPPOA responded to Tabke’s statement in a letter released Tuesday.

“First, we plainly noted your email had no mention of House DFL candidate John Thompson’s anti-police and violent behavior, and you did not take the opportunity (repeatedly requested by the MPPOA) to renounce your support of his candidacy. Therefore, we assume you still, unfortunately, maintain support of Thompson’s candidacy, after our repeated requests to do otherwise,” said the letter.

“Thompson has threatened to burn down a neighborhood and beat an effigy of a police officer’s wife, a female reporter, while standing outside their home. This is violent and outrageous behavior – and not just rhetoric – specifically against a police officer and his family,” it continued.

Brian Peters, executive director of the MPPOA, wrote that anyone who “supports Thompson’s candidacy cannot be considered a supporter of law enforcement and will not be supported by the MPPOA.”

“This includes yourself,” Peters said in his letter to Tabke, calling the lawmaker’s rhetoric regarding officer-involved shootings “brazenly exaggerated and irresponsible from a state legislator.”

Gov. Tim Walz, who endorsed Thompson, hasn’t said yet if he will rescind his endorsement, telling Fox 9 reporter Theo Keith Wednesday that he needs to “sit down and figure this out.”

The governor had a similar response nearly two weeks ago when he was asked the same question in an MPR interview.