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Minneapolis police union responds to Mayor Frey's ban by offering free 'warrior' training

The union is openly defying the mayor's ban.

The Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis is offering city cops free "warrior" style training sessions, despite Mayor Jacob Frey saying last week that officers are banned from attending them.

Frey announced last Thursday that city officers can't attend "fear-based training" programs whether on or off duty, and that any officers who wish to attend "use-of-force" training would need approval from Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo.

This sparked immediate criticism from Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis leader Lt. Bob Kroll, who argued it was "illegal" to prevent officers from attending training outside of working hours.

And in response, it was announced on Tuesday that the union had teamed up with law enforcement training company Law Officer, which will provide free training to Minneapolis police officers.

This will include "officer survival, leadership, fitness, de-escalation and emergency vehicle operations" training, potentially worth up to $55,000-a-year.

A press release on the Law Officer website says the move is in response to the ban invoked by the mayor.

"It is both an honor and privilege to provide the heroes of the Minneapolis Police Department daily training that can ensure they will return home each day to their family regardless of the dangers that they may face and the ignorance of some politicians," said Law Officer director of training Travis Yates.

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Kroll had his own dig at Frey, saying "while it seems that the lives of our officers are not important to politicians, they certainly are by Law Officer and we are grateful for this partnership."

Frey's ban comes following scrutiny of so-called "fear-based" law enforcement training. One such program, called "Bulletproof Warrior," was attended by former Officer Jeronimo Yanez, who shot and killed Philando Castile during a routine traffic stop in 2016.

Mayor Frey, in a statement to the Star Tribune Wednesday, said the reason behind the ban on warrior-style training was because "proper training on use of force and de-escalation is of paramount importance."

He notes that any officers who attend training that goes against the policy announced last week, and is not approved by Chief Arradondo, will face punishment.

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