Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) has responded to criticism of her time as Minneapolis' top prosecutor.
Before she was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006, Klobuchar was the Hennepin County attorney in Minnesota, in charge of prosecution for the state's most populous county. Reports have indicated Klobuchar did not go after numerous police officers who shot civilians, and when MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell asked her about that on Friday, Klobuchar described her decisions as routine procedure, but also expressed regret for how she handled those cases.
"When I was county attorney, cases we had involving officer-involved shootings went to a grand jury. I think that was wrong now," Klobuchar said. "It would have been much better if I took responsibility and looked at cases and made a decision myself." Still, Klobuchar maintained that "we did not blow off these cases. We brought them to a grand jury, presented the evidence for a potential criminal prosecution, and the grand jury would come back with the decision."
Klobuchar also addressed a 2006 shooting that involved former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was arrested Friday after kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, who later died. Klobuchar was elected to the Senate a week after Chauvin was implicated in the shooting of a suspect who was allegedly attacking police, and left her attorney position just a few months into an investigation into the incident. She said it's "absolutely false" that she declined to prosecute the case involving Chauvin, describing it as a case handled by her successor that a grand jury later declined to prosecute.
Klobuchar went on to call for "systematic change" following Floyd's death both in Minnesota and "across the country." Kathryn Krawczyk