Opinion: Keith Ellison Wants American Police Prosecuted in International Criminal Court

Opinion: Keith Ellison Wants American Police Prosecuted in International Criminal Court Opinion: Keith Ellison Wants American Police Prosecuted in International Criminal Court Keith Ellison (Photo by Sarah Rice/Getty Images)

By Doug Wardlow | Monday, 03 May 2021 10:17 AM

Genocide, forced migration, and pillaging in Sudan. Sexual slavery, child conscription, and torture in the Congo. Extrajudicial executions, rape, and pillaging in Mali.

These are some of the International Criminal Court’s active investigations.

Last Tuesday, Minnesota Attorney General and former DNC Deputy Chair Keith Ellison told MSNBC host Joy Reid that the United States should be added to this list, expressing support for an International Criminal Court investigation into the American criminal justice system for systemic racism, brutality, persecution, and inhuman acts.

You read that correctly.

Keith Ellison, the top legal and law-enforcement official for the state of Minnesota, thinks an international tribunal sitting in the Netherlands should review our American criminal justice system.

It is absolutely appalling that Ellison would suggest that American police officers and prosecutors should be investigated by any international body, let alone one that focuses on crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes.

By supporting an inquiry by an international tribunal into our American criminal justice system for crimes against humanity, Ellison is siding with other countries against our country.

Ellison’s rhetoric is as dangerous as it is shocking.

When the top attorney for the State of Minnesota essentially equates the conduct of American police and prosecutors with that of government officials being investigated for systematic torture, rape, and persecution in Burundi, his words have a real impact.

Indeed, Ellison’s comments seem calculated to sow division and advance the false narrative about systemic racism in our justice system. His rhetoric demoralizes law enforcement, and it does so at a time when morale is already low—a time when those who reside in our most vulnerable communities are desperately crying out for more law enforcement assistance to stem skyrocketing violent crime and restore peace and tranquility.

While shocking and terrible, none of this is overly surprising in view of Ellison’s history of anti-police bias and troubling associations.

To take one example, in February 2000, Ellison spoke at a fundraising event in support of Kathleen Soliah after she was apprehended in St. Paul (where she was living under the name Sara Jane Olson) for the attempted murder of Los Angeles police officers in 1975.

During his remarks, Ellison spoke favorably of two convicted cop killers as well as Nation of Islam leader and disgraceful anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan.

Ellison’s ties to the Nation of Islam are particularly troubling. Ellison worked for the Nation of Islam in the mid 1990s.

And while Ellison claims to have distanced himself from Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, there is evidence to the contrary. Indeed, Farrakhan has mentioned a 2015 visit by then-Congressman Ellison to Farrakhan’s hotel suite in Washington D.C.

And when I debated Ellison in 2018, Ellison said that he thought Farrakhan had "something to offer" in the "early 1990s" because Farrakhan "was a person speaking to issues of African American civil rights."

In 1984, Farrakhan praised Hitler as a "very great man." Ellison’s historical support for and ties to Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam alone render him unfit to hold public office.

His performance as Minnesota’s Attorney General is also disqualifying. Last summer, Ellison stood idly by as rioters rampaged through Minneapolis and St. Paul. Ellison should have taken the lead in identifying those responsible for fomenting the violence and ensured they were prosecuted.

But he did not.

Instead, Ellison seems to focus his efforts on a radical agenda of societal change. His expression of support for an international investigation into of American justice officials shows just how deep his contempt for our country and our justice system truly is.

America is an exceptional place, and our system of law and justice is the standard for the world. Keith Ellison does not appear to agree. He wants radical transformation. But Minnesotans don’t want that, and Americans don’t want that.

We want—and we need—elected officials who fight for America, not against America.

That is precisely what I will do if elected Minnesota Attorney General. I will partner with law enforcement and our frontline prosecutors to stem skyrocketing violent crime and put those who foment violence and unrest behind bars. I will restore law and order and make Minnesota safe again. And I will stand up for and defend our American system of law and justice.

Doug Wardlow, a Constitutional lawyer and former State Representative of Minnesota, is currently running for Attorney General.