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Rep. John Thompson challenges St. Paul Police Chief’s claim that he intimidated officers

State Rep. John Thompson disputed St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell’s claim that he tried to intimidate and intimidate officers, saying he reacted to a police scene involving his daughter “as any concerned father would”.

Thompson released a statement on Tuesday dismissing Axtell’s comments about a weekend incident where the St. Paul lawmaker’s adult daughter was stopped by an officer after she swerved and drove with expired tabs.

A summary of the situation provided by St. Paul police said Thompson’s daughter refused to roll down her car window more than an inch after being arrested, and the officer asked that other squads go to the scene. Thompson arrived at the scene and police say he passed out his legislative business cards and continued to “scream and scream in a furious fashion”.

“As an elected official, I would certainly not try to abuse, intimidate or intimidate the police with my official position. I responded as any concerned father would, arriving on a scene chaotic to help deal with my frightened daughter, who was suffering from a verifiable mental health episode, which was triggered by the heavy presence of the SPPD,” Thompson said in the statement.

Officers at the scene treated him with the “utmost respect” and did an exemplary job of defusing the situation, Thompson added.

The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association disputed his comment that he had not abused his official position and called on Thompson to allow police to release body camera footage of the incident.

Thompson’s statement did not mention the body camera footage, and his legislative staff did not respond Tuesday when asked if he would allow it to be released.

“It was an outrageous scene,” Axtell wrote on Facebook Monday. “I wish state law would allow us to release body-worn camera footage. But we can’t at this time. However, Rep. Thompson or his daughter can. And I encourage them to do it.”

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