MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau responded Tuesday after four off-duty officers working Saturday’s Minnesota Lynx game walked off the job.
A police union official said the officers left Target Center after Lynx players wore pregame jerseys in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The shirts had the names of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, both fatally shot by police. It also showed the Dallas police shield above the phrase “Black Lives Matter.”
Police Federation President Bob Kroll commended the officers, but took their names off a list of officers working future games.
Harteau issued this statement on Tuesday.
“While I do not condone the actions of the officers, I realize how every member of law enforcement throughout this country, including myself, is feeling right now,” Harteau said. “Everyone is hurting and we all need to find a way to come together. I am proud of our profession and the service our officers provide on a daily basis. Accountability is a must but police officers also deserve and need public support.”
Harteau also said the officers were working on behalf of the Minnesota Lynx, but when wearing the Minneapolis Police uniform, all officers are expected to adhere to the department’s core values and honor their oath of office. She 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 uniforms officers wear.
“I believe every cop wants what every American wants: a safe place to live. We are all in this together, and in the days and weeks ahead, I’m hopeful that common goal will guide the work that leads us to a better place,” Harteau said.