Calls for Minneapolis police union leader Bob Kroll to go after he sends letter about George Floyd unrest

Bob Kroll commended officers and bashed leadership in a letter to officers.
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People are calling for Bob Kroll, the president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, to go, including former Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau.

Kroll sent a letter to members of the federation, which Harteau tweeted Monday morning, saying "A disgrace to the badge! This is the battle that myself and others have been fighting against. Bob Kroll turn in your badge!"

The letter, which has been sent to members of the Minneapolis Police Federation, commends officers for their work during the unrest, while criticizing the response to the protests and "failed leadership."

In the letter, Kroll notes the National Guard was held back until early Friday morning, adding that the use of gas munitions and less lethal mutations to defend themselves was also held back.

He has also criticized the City of Minneapolis for not approving Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo's previous request for 400 more officers.

"Given the right numbers, the right equipment, and your ability to use them would have ended this Tuesday night," the letter states. The violence and destruction didn't start in Minneapolis until Wednesday night. On Tuesday, they were largely peaceful."

Kroll says he knows it would have ended Tuesday because "I've been in charge of three separate riot situations when the police on the ground had the ability to make the tactical decisions to effectively end the situation. This has been stripped. The politicians are to blame and you are the scapegoats."

He writes that the mayor, governor and others do not acknowledge the department's work, but do "continually shift blame to it," calling this "despicable behavior."

He also says he's been collaborating with GOP Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka on a plan of action involving the National Guard so that the Senate "could try and run the actions that the governor displayed he is clearly incompetent to do."

Kroll said he's worked with other police leaders to "push our messaging on a national level."

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Furthermore, Kroll also referred to the "violent criminal history" of George Floyd, as something that is "not being told," though doesn't explain how Floyd's criminal past justified his treartment at the hands of the four officers.

He criticized Arradondo and Mayor Jacob Frey for firing the officers following Floyd's death.

"I've worked with the four defense attorneys that are representing each of our four terminated individuals under criminal investigation, in addition with our labor attorneys to fight for their jobs. They were terminated without due process."

Those who knew Floyd said he moved in 2014 to Minneapolis from Houston for a fresh start after being released from prison following an arrest and 5-year prison sentence for a 2007 aggravated robbery, the Daily Mail notes.

Reaction to the letter

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey commented on the letter, tweeting: "For a man who complains so frequently about a lack of community trust and support for the police department, Bob Kroll remains shockingly indifferent to his role in undermining that trust and support."

Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender also retweeted the letter thanking Harteau for "speaking out" on Kroll "who attacks Minneapolis elected leaders and not only refuses to speak out against police violence but opposes change at every turn. He has many allies in the system – this must change."

Harteau and any others have tweeted calling for Kroll's ouster since the death of George Floyd – and before – using the hashtag #KrollMustGo. According to a search on Twitter, it's been a hashtag since at least 2015. The year after Kroll was elected as the president of the federation.

Former Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak last week called out Kroll too, calling him a cancer.

This isn't anything new for Kroll. In 2015, the Star Tribune wrote a story about how controversy follows the federation president, in the aftermath of the 4th Precinct occupation in reaction to the killing at the hands of police of Jamar Clark.

A petition calling for his resignation has also been launched and signed by more than 8,000 people as of Monday morning.

As of Monday morning, the federation's website and Facebook page could not be accessed. 

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