Labor groups call for Bob Kroll to resign from Minneapolis police union

"He antagonizes and disparages members of the black community," Minnesota AFL-CIO President Bill McCarthy said.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
bob kroll

More and more people and groups are calling for Bob Kroll, the president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, to step down, including labor groups Education Minnesota, the Minnesota Nurses Association and the Minnesota AFL-CIO.

Kroll, who has been with the Minneapolis Police Department for more than 30 years and president of the union for about five years, sent a letter this week to officers, commending them for their work during the protests, defending the officers at the scene when George Floyd was killed and blasting leadership for how they handled the protests and riots in the days following Floyd's death.

The letter prompted people to tweet their thoughts about Kroll, some using the hashtag #KrollMustGo. And a few labor organizations in the state are now calling for Kroll to resign. 

Minnesota AFL-CIO President Bill McCarthy in a news release Tuesday called for Kroll's immediate resignation, saying he has failed the labor movement of people in Minneapolis, noting he has a "long history of bigoted remarks and complaints of violence made against him." 

"As union president, he antagonizes and disparages members of the black community. He advocates for military-style police tactics making communities less safe and the police force more deadly. Despite his conduct, Kroll was reelected with an overwhelming majority. If Bob Kroll does not value the lives that he is sworn to protect, then we can only expect more death under his leadership," McCarthy said.

Minnesota AFL-CIO is the state federation of labor that represents more than 300,000 members of more than 1,000 local unions throughout the state.

Education Minnesota, which represents the state's educators and education professionals, said in a news release it is joining Minnesota AFL-CIO in calling for Kroll to resign. President of the union, Denise Specht, said Kroll must resign or be removed by his membership for the city to heal from the "horrific killing" of George Floyd in police custody. 

“Educators and other members of organized labor are committed to seeking racial justice,” Specht said. “There is no place for leaders who support or defend racist actions and policies in our movement. Through his actions and words, Lt. Kroll has shown himself unfit to lead in the modern labor movement.”

The Minnesota Nurses Association also released a statement asking for Kroll to resign, saying, "Kroll continues to minimize the killing of unarmed black citizens by officers and promote symbols of 'white power' within the department. This behavior is not acceptable from any leader, much less the leader of a union.

Meanwhile, members of the Minneapolis City Council have criticized Kroll. 

Melissa Hortman, the speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives, also called for him to step down.

And there's a petition calling for his resignation that has garnered signatures from more than 61,000 people as of Wednesday morning.

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 Minneapolis Police Department 4th Precinct occupation in reaction to the killing at the hands of police of Jamar Clark.

Such controversy is rearing its head again due to an interview Kroll did in April with STIM Radio, which was reported on by The Intercept this week. The interview was posted to YouTube – have a listen:

In the interview, he discusses things from PTSD and "locking horns" with politicians in Minneapolis to the city's budget and making reductions during COVID-19, in which he says the city is "pissing away" money, like giving $15,000 a year to the transgender coordinator of the city. 

He also criticizes the city for paying out in police brutality lawsuits, suggesting police shouldn't be responsible for the settlements, calling some of the lawsuits frivolous.

“You’re giving away money left and right in lawsuits, and you want us to take a bath? So forget it,” Kroll said in the interview.

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

Next Up

minnesota state fair

Planning for the 2021 Minnesota State Fair is underway

The fair suffered huge financial losses due to COVID-19, but organizers are moving forward with planning "different scenarios" for this summer.

Screen Shot 2021-01-15 at 2.16.44 PM

Heather Brown named as new WCCO 'This Morning' anchor

She will be joining Jason DeRusha on the CBS affiliate's Morning Show.

DPS John Harrington

DPS Commissioner: No credible threats to state Capitol, but ready if something arises

Local and state law enforcement officials have a plan in case a threat arises.

snow, slush (submitted photo, ok to use)

Here are snow totals from Thursday-Friday winter storm

It's a slushy mess in the metro, but snow did pile up in southern counties.

tim walz

Walz fury after report that government's COVID vaccine reserve is nonexistent

The Washington Post reported Friday that the Trump Administration has shipped out all the vaccines it has already, with none in reserve.

closed sign

What's open and closed in Minnesota on MLK Day 2021?

Local government offices will generally be closed on Monday.

BMTN 900x450 (8)

Company that falsely promised student loan forgiveness banned from MN

It's also been ordered to repay $11,499 in fees taken from Minnesotans.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID update for January 15

Hospitalizations are the lowest in Minnesota since October 25.

Sars-Cov-2

Osterholm: B117 COVID strain could become major issue in 6-8 weeks

The B117 variant is believed to be more easily transmitted.

General Mills

General Mills halts donations to Republicans who voted to block Biden win

Two Minnesota representatives voted against certification of results in Arizona and Pennsylvania.

Related

bob kroll

Calls for Bob Kroll to go after he sends letter about George Floyd unrest

Bob Kroll commended officers and bashed leadership in a letter to officers.

Bob Kroll

Bob Kroll to retire as Minneapolis police union chief

Kroll has proven a controversial figure during his time in charge of the MPD union.

Bob Kroll

Bob Kroll reverses plans to retire, slams Minneapolis police chief

The controversial Minneapolis police union head gave his latest comments in a radio interview.

Medaria Arradondo

Minneapolis police chief ends contract negotiations with union

The union is seen as a barrier to reform within the MPD.

WCCO TV

Protest held at WCCO over anchor's marriage to Bob Kroll

The protest is calling for the Twin Cities TV station to take action.

Bob Kroll

Police union chief Bob Kroll appears at campaign event for Jason Lewis

The controversial police federation chief lent his support to the Senate candidate.

Bob Kroll

Bob Kroll answers questions about George Floyd incident for 1st time

Kroll condemned "incompetent leadership" and demanded more video of the incident.

bob kroll

Bob Kroll called police on WaPo reporter who knocked on his door

BMTN has obtained the police report from the Washington County Sheriff's Office.