MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Ahead of a President Donald Trump rally in Minneapolis and a controversial new uniform policy, the Minneapolis police union is selling a shirt in support of the president.
On Saturday, Lt. Bob Kroll, Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis president, posted a photo of the shirt on his Facebook page and asked for others to share.
The shirts, which say “Cops for Trump,” are being sold for $20 each. The proceeds all go to benefit the police union’s charities.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced a new policy hours after the president announced he was holding a rally at Target Center. New Minneapolis Police Department policy prevents off-duty officers from appearing in uniform during political rallies or while endorsing candidates.
Kroll says he has weighed in during previous policy changes — but not this time. He calls the decision politically motivated.
“It was kept completely secret from us,” Kroll said. “We believe it infringes upon the federation’s rights to have influence in the political process, and let them know where our federation stands and who our federation endorses.”
Major Frey says the decision takes politics out of policing.
“Politics and the work of the Minneapolis Police Department are separate,” Frey said. “They are individuals within our department, certainly have a First Amendment right to support whichever party or whatever individual they choose.”
And that’s what the union plans to do next Thursday at President Trump’s rally.
“We’re going to be there in full force, in T-shirts, letting people know that off-duty officers do have support for our president,” Kroll said.
President Trump will be speaking at Target Center on Thursday night. It starts at 7 p.m. but the doors open at 4 p.m.
Tickets to attend are free. You do have to register online, and GOP officials recommend getting there early to have a chance of getting in.