FACT CHECK: No, This Photo Of Keith Ellison And Amy Klobuchar At a ‘Defund The Police’ Event Is Not Authentic

Jesse Stiller | Contributor

A post shared on Facebook allegedly shows Minnesota Democrats, Attorney General Keith Ellison and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, attending an event with signs reading “defund the police.”

Verdict: False

The image is digitally altered. The original image, uploaded to Ellison’s official X account and his campaign account, does not show such signs.

Fact Check:

Two police officers and a paramedic were fatally wounded in Burnsville, Minnesota on Feb. 18 while responding to a domestic incident call, according to CNN. The suspect, 38-year-old Shannon Cortez Gooden, was prohibited from owning a firearms following a 2007 felony assault conviction, Fox9 reported.

The Facebook post appears to show a photo, featuring Ellison and Klobuchar, at a meeting with attendees holding signs reading “defund the police.” The second photo shows posts from Klobuchar’s Facebook account addressing the shooting in Burnsville, Minnesota, mourning the three slain first-responders.

“Amy’s page won’t let me post pictures, so I’m posting here…Klobuchar, Ellison and Flanagan…which is it Amy Klobuchar,” the post reads. “You never let a tragedy go to waste.”

The image is digitally altered. The second photo, which features Ellison and Klobuchar, was taken in October 2022 and posted to the attorney general’s page during that year’s election. The photo was also retweeted by his official attorney general account. None of the attendees in the photo are holding any signs.

“Minnesotans are fired up to elect DFLers up & down the ballot who will protect their personal freedoms, make sure they take home every $ they earn, protect them from corporate fraud, and protect our multiracial democracy,” the post reads in part. (RELATED: Did Trump Say His 2020 Election Loss Was The ‘Real Tragedy’ Compared To Super Bowl Parade Shooting?)

Ellison has not directly supported efforts to “defund” the police, but has supported efforts to restructure the department in Minneapolis, following the death of George Floyd in 2020. During an attorney general debate in 2022, Ellison’s Republican challenger, Jim Schultz, criticized him for supporting a referendum that would institute a “department of public safety” instead of a police force, according to HuffPost.

In an interview with the Wisconsin Examiner, Ellison clarified his stance, stating that “‘Defund the Police’ was an emotional reaction to a horrendous situation,” but that the idea was “not a sound policy prescription.”

“One of the reasons that police brutality happens is because police are being aggressive because the police are usually told to be aggressive to stop crime,” Ellison explained. “I think you’ve got to deal with crime differently.

Klobuchar, who co-sponsored legislation to institute national police reform in the wake of Floyd’s death, opposed the referendum at the time, according to Axios.

Jesse Stiller