By LUCAS ALAN DIETSCHE
Until Amy Klobuchar dropped out of the Democratic Party race on the eve of Super Tuesday voting, many saw her as a stopgap lesser evil for the 2020 presidential election. In fact, Klobuchar represents the legacy of Democratic Party racism, imperialism, and war.
In recent memory, it was the Democratic Party’s Bill Clinton that perpetuated people of color in prison and was his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who coined the phrase “super-predator” against Black youth. It was the Democratic Party’s Barrack Obama who incarcerated the largest number of immigrants in this country. And it is Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders who both promote U.S. imperialist policies abroad.
Days before Klobuchar’s withdrawal from the presidential race, protesters outside Minneapolis shut down a rally for her campaign by occupying the stage and demanding that she address the concerns over her 2003 prosecution of Myon Burrell on flimsy murder charges when she served as the Hennepin County attorney. The protesters held signs reading “Shame!” and demanded that Klobuchar meet with Burrell’s family to hear their grievances.
Myon Burrell was convicted for the first-degree murder of 11-year-old Tyesha Edwards, who was shot by a stray bullet while in her home. At 16 years old, Burrell was arrested, along with Hans Williams and Ike Tyson. Burrell lost his appeal in a court hearing in 2008, when Klobuchar was serving in the U.S. Senate.
While running for the U.S. Senate in 2006, Klobuchar laid stress on her reactionary “tough on crime” rhetoric. While running for president, Klobuchar has boasted of how she brings “justice” to Black communities in regard to shootings.
“When I came into that office, we worked with the community groups, we put up billboards, we found the shooter and we put him in jail, “she said about another shooting victim. In response to Burrell’s case, she said, “We did the same for the killer of a little girl named Tyesha Edwards who was doing her homework at her kitchen table and was shot through the window.”
Early in February, the Associated Press reported flaws in Klobuchar’s case against Burrell, including the facts that police had found no weapon and that the key testimony came from only one person, who was considered a “rival” of the defendant. Also, an investigator was caught giving cash for suspect hearsay.
Burrell has sought a new trial to consider new evidence. He says today of former Hennepin County Prosecutor Klobuchar: “She recharged me with first-degree murder, never looked into the facts of the case. Never looked into the misconduct that had taken place. Never even addressed the misconduct that had taken place and still put the same detective, the same police on my case to go and get more bogus evidence.”
Burrell believes that Klobchuar is the reason why he is in jail. “Yes, I feel like she played a big part. Personally, I feel like she is the source of everything that happened with her charging me.” Free Myon Burrell and say no to Klobuchar’s party of racism!