MINNEAPOLIS (AP/WCCO) — The head of the Minneapolis police union is speaking out about what he says is a lack of city leadership during a week of protests that turned violent after the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white officer pressed a knee against his neck.
Derek Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter and is in custody in a state prison. He and the three other officers on the scene were fired. Floyd’s May 25 death sparked days of protests in Minneapolis and other cities, some of which turned violent.
Union president Lt. Bob Kroll said in a letter to union members that they have lacked support at the top, and that the “terrorist movement” occurring in Minneapolis was years in the making, starting with a minimized police force.
Messages seeking comment from the police department and mayor were not immediately returned.
Kroll also said that Floyd’s criminal history is not being told. The AP has reported last week that Floyd was charged in 2007 with armed robbery in a home invasion in Houston and was sentenced to five years in prison as part of a plea deal, according to court documents.
Kroll said all four officers are represented by defense attorneys, and labor attorneys are fighting for their jobs. He said the officers were fired without due process.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey condemned the letter Monday morning.
For a man who complains so frequently about a lack of community trust and support for the police department, Bob Kroll remains shockingly indifferent to his role in undermining that trust and support. https://t.co/Ws4Ly6wMXM
— Jacob Frey (@Jacob_Frey) June 1, 2020
“For a man who complains so frequently about a lack of community trust and support for the police department, Bob Kroll remains shockingly indifferent to his role in undermining that trust and support,” Frey said.
Former Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau also weighed in, calling Kroll a “disgrace to the 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
“This is the battle that myself and others have been fighting against. Bob Kroll turn in your badge!” Harteau said.
WCCO-TV anchor/reporter Liz Collin is married to Bob Kroll. To avoid any potential conflict of interest, Liz has not reported on Minneapolis Police and Minneapolis Police Union issues for at least two-and-a-half years.
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