They’ve tried nothing and are all out of ideas (Updated)
The growing crime wave in the suburban Twin Cities metro area has pushed area leaders into alternating bouts of finger-pointing and pledges of cooperation. In the past two weeks, Minnesota’s…
It took awhile, but Ramsey County and St. Paul city authorities finally got around to charging the son of Hillary Clinton’s running mate and 7 others in connection with the disruption of a pro-Trump rally at the State Capitol in March.
Linwood Kaine, 24 year old son of U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-Virginia), allegedly fled the scene, but authorities eventually caught up with him. The Pioneer Press lays out the charges.
The chaos that some counter-protesters brought into the Minnesota Capitol in March during a rally in support of President Donald Trump included smoke bombs, Mace in people’s faces and fireworks, prosecutors said Friday as they announced charges against eight people.
Among those charged was Linwood “Woody Kaine, a son of U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, who was Hillary Clinton’s running mate in 2016. The 24-year-old Minneapolis man is accused of fleeing police on foot and concealing his identity in a public place, both misdemeanors, and obstructing legal process, a gross misdemeanor.
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi called the incident a threat to free speech.
“When people seek to prevent others who are peacefully assembled from making their voices heard, it threatens the very foundation of our democracy,” Choi said Friday.
Trump supporters at the rally raised questions about why it took so long for authorities to bring charges.
Some people who attended the Trump rally were rankled when charges were not immediately brought. Jonathan Aanestad, who was Maced in the face at the rally, said Friday that the charges were “a good first step,” but he thought more than two people should have been charged with felonies.
“They committed political terrorism against many of my friends and political colleagues on March 4,” he said.
Aanestad said people were concerned that because Woody Kaine’s father is a high-profile Democrat, that “was a big reason why they were dragging their feet” in bringing charges.
But county and city prosecutors said the delay had nothing to do with Kaine’s connections. The suspects were difficult to find, due to black clothing that made it difficult to identify them.
A challenge for investigators was how people tried to conceal their identities: The small group that caused problems were wearing black clothing, with their faces and heads covered, and goggles — which a police official described as an indication of people who identify as anarchists.
…When police approached, they scattered and ran. Steve Frazer, who was then a St. Paul police senior commander, chased a man who was later identified as Woody Kaine.
Frazer grabbed Kaine by the arm, but the young man “began to spin out of his clothing to get away,” the court document continued. Other officers arrived and Kaine “was swinging his arms and pushing at Sr. Cmdr. Frazer in an attempt to get away,” the complaint said. Police said in March that they had to use a “knee strike” and a chemical spray to arrest Kaine.
A statement issued by the failed vice presidential candidate parses words on their son’s alleged culpability.
“Today’s announcement of misdemeanor charges against Sen. Kaine’s son contains no suggestion that he engaged in disruptive behavior while at the rally, but are instead focused on his actions as he was arrested after he left,” said Miryam Lipper, Sen. Tim Kaine’s spokeswoman, in a statement. “Tim and Anne support their son and hope the matter is resolved soon.”