Minneapolis police union president releases letter criticizing city leaders; AFL-CIO, Education Minnesota and other unions call on him to resign
Tuesday, the Minnesota AFL-CIO, a federation of labor representing local labor unions, called for Kroll's resignation.
"The Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis is not, nor has it ever been a member of the Minnesota AFL-CIO," Minnesota AFL-CIO President bill McCarthy said. "Bob Kroll and those who have enabled violence and brutality to grow within police ranks do no speak for us."
Education Minnesota has also joined a growing group of unions calling for the resignation of Lt. Bob Kroll from his position as president of the union of police officers in the Minneapolis Police Department.
"Educators and other members of organized labor are committed to seeking racial justice," Education Minnesota President Denise 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."
"We know the dangerous culture of the Minneapolis Police Department will not be changed overnight by the removal of a single leader, but it's a start," Specht said. "Our union also supports the investigation by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights announced Tuesday and hopes it leads to sweeping changes within a department that no longer has the trust of the black, brown and indigenous citizens the department's officers have sworn to protect and serve."
The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers will also consider adopting a resolution on Wednesday to call for Kroll's resignation. On Tuesday, Minneapolis Public Schools moved to terminate its contract with the Minneapolis Police Department for school resource officers.
AFSCME Council 5 is also calling for the immediate resignation of Lt. Kroll.
In a letter to the members of the Minneapolis Police Federation, union president Bob Kroll criticized what he called a lack of leadership in the city of Minneapolis in response to recent civil unrest that followed the death of George Floyd.
"What has been very evident throughout this process is you have a lack of support from the top," he said in the letter. "This terrorist movement that is currently occurring was a long time build up which dates back years. Starting with minimizing the size of our police force and diverting funds to community activist with anti-police agenda."
Kroll went on to say, "I've noted in press conference from our mayor, our governor and beyond how they refuse to acknowledge the work of MPD and continually shift blame to it. It is despicable behavior. How our command staff can tolerate it and live with themselves, I do not know."
In the letter, Kroll said he is continuing to work with defense and labor attorneys to fight for the jobs of the four police officers involved in the fatal arrest of George Floyd.
Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Kueng were all fired from the Minneapolis Police Department following the incident. Chauvin is the only officer who has been charged.
"They were terminated without due process," Kroll said.
The letter was released widely on social media Monday by former police chief Janee Harteau, who said Kroll should turn in his badge.
A disgrace to the badge! This is the battle that myself and others have been fighting against. Bob Kroll turn in your badge! pic.twitter.com/SQmeNIIU3v— Janeé Harteau (@ChiefHarteau) June 1, 2020
Kroll has yet to comment publicly on the death of George Floyd.