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Community activists call for action in light of AP investigation on teen jailed for life

The Associated Press released a report this week that claims to have found "inconsistencies" in the police investigation of a teen jailed for life.

MINNEAPOLIS — A group of community activists held a news conference Wednesday to call for action in the wake of an Associated Press investigation into a black teen jailed for life.

The AP, along with APM Reports based in St. Paul, published a year-long investigation this week diving into the case of Myon Burrell, who was imprisoned in 2002. 

During her presidential and past Senate campaigns, Klobuchar has told the story from her days as a top Minneapolis prosecutor. Her office helped put away the shooter of a little girl, Tyesha Edwards, struck by a stray bullet.

But the AP story details what it calls new evidence and inconsistencies in the police investigation into Burrell, who is serving life in prison for the crime. Now, Edwards' stepfather is also questioning whether Burrell was wrongfully convicted.

RELATED: In Klobuchar's past, questions about a teen jailed for life

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On Wednesday, local community organizations gathered to respond to the AP report. Leslie Redmond, president of the Minneapolis NAACP, said Klobuchar has "questions that need to be answered."

"What I need people to understand is that this is not about partisanship and it’s not about politics," Redmond said. "This is about justice. This is about what’s right and what’s wrong."

She said that task forces should be created to reopen other, similar cases.

"This is a situation that happens all around America," she said. "This is a situation that happens right here in Minnesota. Young people, young adults, were given life sentences to rot away in prison."

Nekima Levy Armstrong, civil rights attorney and activist, called on Klobuchar to suspend her presidential campaign and begin working to get Burrell released from prison.

"As a community we have consistently called into question Amy Klobuchar’s record as a prosecutor and her tough-on-crime approach that played a role in Myon Burrell being incarcerated along with numerous other young African American men during that time period," Armstrong said.

A spokesperson for Klobuchar's campaign told the AP that Burrell was tried and convicted in Tyesha's murder twice, and the second trial occurred when Klobuchar was no longer the Hennepin County Attorney. If there was new evidence, she said, it should be immediately reviewed by the court.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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