Activists Denounce Re-Appointment of Andrew Luger as U.S. Attorney in Minnesota

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Critics say during his previous tenure Luger failed to hold police accountable in the deaths of Jamar Clark and Philando Castile, and harmed Muslim community members with the controversial Countering Violent Extremism program.

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Feven Gerezgiher reports:

At a press conference Tuesday, community activists in Minneapolis denounced the re-appointment of Andrew Luger as U.S. Attorney for Minnesota. The appointment is pending Senate approval.

President Biden announced Luger’s nomination on Friday upon the recommendation of Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith. In a news release, the senators praised Luger for his work in his previous term as U.S. Attorney, from 2014 to 2017.

“Under no condition should this man be reappointed. He's not an unknown quantity to our community. We know about him. We have a history with him,” said former St Paul NAACP president Nathaniel Khaliq. Khaliq said the appointment would harm progress made by community activists since George Floyd’s death.

“When I think about how hard these folks have worked to get us to this point where we see hope in turning around the various practices and policies of injustice that have been inflicted on our community for years and years. Now, you want to bring Andy Luger on board. He's already tainted the process just because of who he is,” said Khaliq.

Earlier this year, a broad coalition of community organizations and over 20 lawmakers signed a letter to the President opposing Luger’s appointment. The letter noted that as U.S. Attorney, Luger failed to hold police accountable in the deaths of Jamar Clark and Philando Castile, and harmed Muslim community members with the controversial Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program.

Michelle Gross, president of Communities United Against Police Brutality, says she’s concerned about the ongoing Department of Justice investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department.

“I'm very fearful that Andy Luger sitting in that position of US attorney is going to block that investigation or denature that investigation such that it will be ineffective,” she said.

Organizers said the other two finalists for the U.S. Attorney appointment, former assistant federal prosecutors Lola Velazquez-Aguilu and Surya Saxena, were more credible options.

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