Minneapolis police officers have been informed they cannot appear on stage or on camera in uniforms at political events or in campaign promotions, including at President Donald Trump's rally in the city next month.
Lt. Bob Kroll, leader of the Minneapolis Police Federation, said he was informed about the change in policy on Friday, the day after Trump announced a rally at Target Center on Oct. 10.
It means that while city police will be able to work security at the rally, they won't be allowed to wear uniform if they're appearing on stage or in the backdrop of the president.
Although the rule is in place for all political events, Kroll claims in an interview with Fox News that the timing of the announcement leads him to believe it's a partisan decision.
This is not the first time that the mixing of politics and police has cropped up involving Kroll, who was criticized for appearing in uniform on camera as he endorsed 3rd District Republican congressman Erik Paulsen last year.
The new rule reads as follows: "No employee shall make appearances in political advertisements while wearing the MPD uniform, or cause MPD trademarks to appear in political advertisements or be used in any other way that could lead a reasonable person to believe the MPD is endorsing a political party, candidate or campaign."
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo told MPR News that he reviewed the uniform policy last year after receiving concerns abut the "perception of political bias" in relation to the mid-terms endorsements.
"The new policy prohibits MPD employees from wearing the MPD uniform while endorsing political candidates," he told the news organization. "Trust is the cornerstone of our service and I believe this policy helps to strengthen that."
Arradondo has been backed by the city's Democratic Mayor Jacob Frey, who last week issued a stern rebuke to President Trump after he announced the Target Center rally, saying his "message of hatred will never be welcome in Minneapolis."