The continuing controversy around State Representative John Thompson — who accused a Saint Paul officer of racially-profiling him during a traffic stop — has put House Democratic leaders in a difficult position, says Hamline University Professor David Schultz:

“If the Democrats start to press on this in terms of an ethics inquiry or to raise questions about, maybe, is he really living within his district or something like that, did he abuse his authority, they run the risk of alienating communities of color.”

And Schultz says if Democratic leaders don’t do anything, it becomes a potent political issue for Republicans. Schultz says he doubts Thompson would change his stance at this point, even if House Speaker Melissa Hortman talked to him:

“I don’t think she has a good choice in this matter in terms of what she can do, outside of hoping that it blows over pretty rapidly — but I don’t think it’s going to.”