Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar is facing scrutiny over her prosecution of black teenager Myon Burrell during her time as a prosecutor in Hennepin County, Minnesota. Burrell was convicted for the murder of 11-year-old Tyesha Edwards, but a recent Associated Press investigation sheds doubt on the accuracy of the evidence used to pin the crime on him.
Speaking to Fox News’ Chris Wallace on Sunday, Klobuchar was grilled by the host over her handling of the case. He began by highlighting the findings in the report that claimed police might have bribed potential witnesses and relied on testimony from imprisoned informants who received reduced sentences.
“Did you know, when you were the prosecutor, did you know about any of that? And should this man’s case be reopened?” Wallace asked Klobuchar.
“Well, justice must be done, Chris,” Klobuchar began, noting that the death of Edwards was a “tragic case” that was a “big deal” in the African American community.
“But Senator, we know it was a bad case, the question is whether this young man did it,” Wallace again asked, noting the reportedly unreliable witnesses and pointing out that people who were at the scene of the crime said Burrell was not present.
“You were the head prosecutor, did you know? And if you didn’t, shouldn’t you have known?”
Sen Amy Klobuchar responds to new evidence in a murder case she prosecuted years ago as well as to criticism that her tough-on-crime record is alienating some black voters. #FNS #FoxNews pic.twitter.com/fz9D2sKV4K
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Klobuchar agreed that new evidence must be examined, and Wallace again pressed the Minnesota Sen. about the questionable evidence at the time of prosecution, to which she continued to evade the question.
Burrell, who is now 33-years-old, believes that the authorities were aware of his innocence and didn’t think his life was “worth living.”
As Wallace noted, the Minneapolis N.A.A.C.P., Black Lives Matter, and other activists in the area are calling on Klobuchar to suspend her campaign ahead of the Iowa caucuses on Monday. Per The Hill, Klobuchar acknowledged that she will have to work to gain the support of the African American community.
“It’s on me to go across the country and make the case for my agenda, which is very strong when it comes to the African-American community,” she said.
RealClearPolitics puts Klobuchar in seventh place in average polling with 4.3 percent support. As The Inquisitr reported, aggregator FiveThirtyEight claims that recent polls show that Klobuchar is surging. According to the website, her chances of winning Iowa have tripled in the last few weeks to 10 percent.
Klobuchar’s bump could reportedly come from Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren, who declined a few points in recent Iowa polls.