MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has called out gubernatorial candidate Tim Pawlenty and the head of the Minneapolis police union after a political campaign mailer featured both.
A tweet posted Thursday afternoon showed a mailer for Pawlenty’s campaign, with a quote from the candidate: “Our state is wasting millions on benefits for those here illegally. That’s not right. I will enforce our laws and be a strong voice for hardworking Minnesotans.”
The ad shows Pawlenty standing next to Lt. Bob Kroll and other members of the police department, pictured in uniform.
Frey said that the political mailer should have made it clear that the city’s police department itself does not endorse Pawlenty, and that department’s policy explicitly prevents that.
He said he and Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo are working to have any online campaign materials include a disclaimer and either blur the department trademarks — their patches and badges — or remove the images featuring the police officers’ uniforms.
“As Chief I want to make it very clear the MPD does not endorse any political candidate and that ALL members of the MPD will continue to treat every member of the public professionally and with respect. We will not engage in any activity that singles out an individual based solely upon their citizenship or immigration status,” Arradondo said.
Frey added that the Minneapolis Police Department’s officers are prevented “from asking about immigration status,” and said it’s “not an advisory guideline that can be selectively ignored.”
Frey went on to state: “It is a city law that cannot be reversed by Bob Kroll or any political candidate. They don’t speak for the city. So let me make it clear: our separation ordinance will be enforced no matter who occupies the office of Governor or who is leading the police union. Minneapolis stands with our immigrant brothers and sisters who have, throughout our city’s history, made Minneapolis a better place to live.”
Frey said the police department does not endorse any political candidate, and that police will not take part in any law enforcement “based solely on their immigration status.”
Kroll told WCCO-TV Friday night that th ead is in line with the department’s policy.
“It’s clearly stated that it’s the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis is doing the endorsement, it never pretended to be the city, it was never intended to be that. We have our sticker of endorsement on there,” Kroll said. “I think the reaction that you’re getting from Minneapolis City Hall is more based on politics and emotion and hurt feelings over who it is, rather than the actual policy itself.”