Minnesota House candidate John Thompson was caught on film this weekend beating pinatas made in the likeness of Minneapolis Police Federation president Bob Kroll and his wife Liz Collin, an anchor for WCCO.
Thompson led a rally through the couple’s neighborhood on Saturday, attended by hundreds of supporters. The rally filled the street with loud chanting, and protestors took a moment to kneel on Kroll’s lawn in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.
The two pinatas were marched high through the neighborhood, and Thompson beat them with a stick until they broke open on Kroll’s driveway to the cheers of the crowd.
You can view the entire video – over an hour long – on Youtube by clicking here. Thompson’s beating of the pinatas begins at the one-hour mark.
Thompson just won the primary election and has been endorsed by the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor party and by Governor Tim Walz among others.
Thompson was a friend of Philando Castile, who was shot and killed by police officers during a traffic stop in 2016. “At that moment,” Thompson writes of Castile’s death on his campaign website, “I knew that I could no longer remain silent.” It was then that he became an activist and got involved in the political process.
Thompson and the protestors targeted Kroll specifically because of Kroll’s support for Trump and the officers involved in the death of George Floyd.
During the event, Thompson made many incendiary comments, which has drawn backlash from all sides.
“You think we give a f*** about burning Hugo down?” he said of the city.
“Blue lives ain’t sh**,” he yelled to the crowd. At one point, he verbally attacked a group of young white girls watching the event from their garage, calling them “racist mother-f******s.”
“F*** Hugo, Minnesota!” he shouted at another point.
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 (@AlphaNewsMN) August 15, 2020
A few deputies stood guard at the entrance of Kroll’s home, but they did not intervene in the activities. During the rally, a speaker addressed one of the deputies directly over the microphone: “You don’t got to wear that uniform. You can take it off. You can do it, you can actually change. And I’ll bet your mother wanted better, too. I’ll bet she did.”
The DFL has condemned his “inflammatory” and “hurtful” speech: “The Minnesota DFL does not condone any rhetoric which is violent, hateful, or inflammatory.”
The Washington County Sheriff’s office and the county attorney’s office released a joint statement concluding that Thompson’s speech did not violate any laws: “…the comments made by Mr. Thompson, though grossly inappropriate, do not violate any felony statute.”
Thompson is hoping to represent Minnesota’s 67A district, which does not include the cities of Minneapolis or Hugo.