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Mayor: Police union head made 'jackass remarks' about Lynx T-shirt walk-out

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https://twitter.com/minnesotalynx/status/751913536599629824

Three days ago, Minnesota Lynx players wore warm-up shirts with the names Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, as well as the Dallas Police Department logo and "Black Lives Matter" on the back – causing four Minneapolis police officers to walk off the job.

Since then, the public response has continued to grow. The latest: The mayor of Minneapolis has weighed in after comments from a police union head made the news.

Bob Kroll, the president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, commended the officers who walked off while speaking with the Star Tribune, and later added: "They only have four officers working the event because the Lynx have such a pathetic draw."

Mayor Betsy Hodges responded to those comments Tuesday afternoon on Facebook, calling them "jackass remarks." Here's her full message:

It's worth noting the Minneapolis Police Chief, Janeé Harteau, said Tuesday she doesn't support the officers' decision to walk off the job (read her full remarks below).

Hodges and Kroll have publicly been at odds before.

Last month, Kroll was firm in calling Black Lives Matter a "terrorist organization" because of the group's response to the Jamar Clark shooting, and said Clark's own actions led to his death, WCCO reported.

That led Hodges, at the time, to issue a very similar statement to what she said Thursday.

https://twitter.com/mayorhodges/status/738146821344616448

https://twitter.com/MayorHodges/status/738147360698564609

You can read our story from earlier on Tuesday below.

https://twitter.com/minnesotalynx/status/751906062379327489

Several Minneapolis police officers refused to work security at Saturday's Minnesota Lynx game after players held a pregame news conference seeking change from racial profiling and promoting "Black Lives Matter."

Lynx players wore warmup T-shirts that said "Change starts with us, justice and accountability" on the front. On the back were the names of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, who were killed by police last week, as well as the Dallas Police Department logo and Black Lives Matter.

The Lynx were playing the Dallas Wings on Saturday, less than 24 hours after five Dallas police officers were fatally shot and several more injured in an ambush during a demonstration to protest the recent officer-involved shootings.

The Star Tribune reports the four officers, who were working as independent contractors at the game, walked out to show they disagreed with the message players were sending.

The Washington Post says the Minneapolis Police Federation praised the officers for leaving the game, noting they won't work any more games, and its possible other officers will follow suit.

Harteau doesn't condone their actions

Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau released a statement Tuesday saying she doesn't condone the officers' actions.

"Although these officers were working on behalf of the Lynx, when wearing a Minneapolis police uniform I expect all officers to adhere to our core values and honor their oath of office," Harteau said. "Walking off the job and defaulting on their contractual obligation to provide a service to the Lynx does not conform to the expectations held by the public for the uniform these officers wear."

Harteau also stressed the need for everyone who is hurting to come together, and that police officers deserve the public's support.

Why the Lynx spoke out

"It's an issue that has plagued the African American community for a long time," Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve told Timberwolves Radio on Saturday. "And in order to enact change, when you see an injustice you can't stand idly by. So they just felt like it was really important to message around this."

"Each one of our players from the African American community have at least one story of racial profiling – so it's very painful for our group," she added.

The Lynx didn't have plans to wear the shirts head of Tuesday's game in San Antonia, The Associated Press tweeted.

https://twitter.com/Lynx_PR/status/751913626152214529

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