Update: On Monday, Amy Klobuchar announced plans to suspend her 2020 bid for president. On the afternoon before Super Tuesday, Klobuchar is expected to endorse former Vice President Joe Biden after exiting the race. The news comes shortly after former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg also ended his bid and many of his supporters are flocking to the campaign of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders as a result. Klobuchar has not yet spoken about ending her candidacy, though she is expected to today.
This story was originally published on March 2, 2020 at 10am.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar was greeted with a less-than-warm welcome during her Minnesota rally on Sunday. The Democratic presidential candidate, who returned to her home state to rally up support for her campaign, was met with dozens of protesters during her event, all shouting things like “Klobuchar has got to go” and “Black Lives Matter.” Despite Klobuchar supporters screaming “Amy” repeatedly against the protesters, the event was ultimately shut down and cancelled.
The reasoning behind the protesters’ appearance at Klobuchar’s rally was quickly apparent in their unified chant of “Free Myon.” The chants referred to the case of Myon Burrell, a now 33-year-old inmate who was suspected of shooting 11-year-old Tyesha Edwards in 2002. Edwards was killed by a stray bullet while she was doing homework at her kitchen table. As a prosecutor for eight years in Minnesota, Klobuchar supervised Burrell's conviction when he was 16-years-old and has frequently mentioned the tragic shooting during her campaign. Now, potential new evidence shows that Burrell — who has maintained his innocence for 18 years — may have been wrongfully convicted.
In a case led by the Associated Press, new evidence shows that Burrell’s alibi was never checked and no fingerprints, DNA, or gun have been recovered. And, another co-defendant in the case, who is serving out a 45-year sentence, has also since admitted that he was the one who shot Edwards. As a result, Klobuchar has addressed the new evidence and expressed that she is interested in justice for Burrell, if he is, in fact, innocent.
“Senator Klobuchar has always believed in pursuing justice without fear or favor," her campaign representative told Refinery29 at the time of the new case details. "That’s why she has said that any new evidence in this case should immediately be reviewed by the court.”
Still, the Burrell case — and revelations about Klobuchar's prosecutorial record — seems to be plaguing her campaign, even in her home state. Klobuchar's campaign attempted to quell the situation, and Klobuchar’s supporters shouting for the other side to back down, but the chaos of the evening was too much and the rally was cancelled as a result.
"We had a negotiation and had an agreement with the organizers of the protest to meet with the senator on site,” Justin Buoen, Klobuchar’s campaign manager, said during a press meeting after the rally. “She was in the room ready to meet with them and then they changed the terms and decided that they didn't want to meet with her."
Leslie Redmond, the president of the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP, had a different side to the story when also speaking with CBS News. “When we asked them to let either us or them acknowledge Myon Burrell on stage – to say who he is and why the protesters are here – they said they would cancel the event. It was on them. They chose to cancel the event."
Klobuchar’s failed rally is a less than ideal situation for the senator to be in in her home state, especially ahead of Super Tuesday. On March 3, Minnesota residents will join participating voting states to cast their Primary ballots. Klobuchar currently sits at 4 % in the national polls, trailing behind other candidates including Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, according to RealClearPolitics.