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Bob Kroll — Trump’s racist policeman

The people of Minnesota believe that the racism in the police emanates directly from the president of the Minneapolis Police Federation, writes PETER FROST

DONALD TRUMP’s tame racist policeman Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis Police Union, has to go. 

That is the opinion of many Minnesota labour union members, including local AFL-CIO president Bill McCarthy.

McCarthy has called on Kroll to resign immediately, saying: “Kroll has failed the labour movement and the residents of Minneapolis. Bob Kroll has a long history of bigoted remarks and complaints of violence made against him. 

“As union president, he antagonises the black community and advocates military-style police tactics, making communities less safe and the police more deadly.”

McCarthy went on: “If Bob Kroll does not value the lives that he is sworn to protect then we can only expect more deaths under his leadership.” 

In a reference to Kroll speaking at President Trump’s election rally, McCarthy said: “Americans have witnessed the disastrous outcomes of unchecked power, authoritarianism, and white supremacy in our highest levels of leadership. We have seen Bob Kroll proudly standing behind this type of leadership.

“There is no room for white supremacists in our movement. Bob Kroll must resign, and the Minneapolis Police Union must be overhauled. Unions must never be a tool to shield perpetrators from justice.”

He concluded by stating: “We join in solidarity with our fellow Minnesotans who are marching in the streets demanding justice for George Floyd. 

“We join in solidarity with black residents who have seen too many deaths at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department … Their cries for justice cannot go unheard.”

So who is this Minneapolis Police Union president Bob Kroll? A man who allegedly wears a white power patch on his motorcycle jacket and who supports white supremacy and speaks at Trump election rallies.

At the Trump rally Kroll praised what he called the wonderful president for everything he’s done for law enforcement. 

“Now is not the time to rush to judgement and immediately condemn our officers,” Kroll said about Floyd’s death as the Minneapolis district attorney filed criminal charges against the officer, Derek Chauvin.

Activists are demanding changes to a police department which they say has long been plagued by racism and misconduct. 

Throughout his police career, Kroll, still an active police officer, has been accused of using excessive force and making racist remarks. 

Kroll has always been a staunch defender of white officers who have killed or assaulted blacks. 

In 2015, after two white officers shot 24-year-old Jamar Clark in the head, Kroll spoke on television about Clark’s violent criminal history. He also accused Black Lives Matter of being a terrorist organisation.

Kroll also referred to Muslim former congressman Keith Ellison as a terrorist. This is now the subject of a lawsuit filed by Police Chief Medaria Arradondo alleging racism within the police department. 

The lawsuit accused Kroll of wearing a motorcycle jacket with a white-power patch sewed into the fabric, and said he had a history of discriminatory attitudes and conduct. 

Kroll admitted he was a member of the City Heat motorcycle club. The US Anti-Defamation League (the nearest thing to Hope not Hate in Britain) has reported that motorcycle club members often wear white supremacist symbols on jackets. 

Kroll refused to answer accusations that he too wore the white supremacist badge.

A year after Jamar Clark’s death, in 2016, Kroll commended four off-duty officers who walked off their security jobs at the Lynx basketball game when players wore Black Lives Matter warm-up jerseys. 

Kroll joined the Minneapolis police department in 1989. Since then he has been the subject of at least 20 complaints. 

In 1994, he was suspended for five days for using excessive force. The suspension was reversed by the police chief. 

The next year, he fought a lawsuit that accused him of beating, choking and kicking a mixed-race 15-year-old boy while using racial slurs. A federal jury cleared him of wrongdoing.

In 2003, he was demoted for three months for code of ethics violations. 

In 2004, while off-duty, Kroll and another officer beat a man whose backpack bumped their car. The two also punched and kicked the man’s friends. Kroll was suspended for 20 days. 

As head of the police union, Kroll has pushed for more aggressive policing. Last year, Mayor Jacob Frey banned warrior-style and killology training for officers. 

Minnesota police killings, including that of Philando Castile in 2016, have been linked to this training. 

The training urged officers to use more force, not less. Kroll described the mayor’s ban as illegal and offered the banned training, paid for by the union, to any officers. 

Kroll is President Trump’s greatest fan: “The Obama administration and the handcuffing and oppression of police was despicable,” Kroll said in a TV interview, after speaking at a Trump rally. 

“The first thing President Trump did when he took office was turn that around … he decided to let cops do their job, put the handcuffs on the criminals instead of us.” 

Before the rally, Kroll’s union sold bright red Cops for Trump T-shirts, as a way round the mayor’s prohibition on officers wearing their uniform at political events.

On May 25, four white police officers arrested George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, after a deli employee accused him of buying cigarettes with a fake $20 bill.

Seventeen minutes later Floyd was unconscious and pinned beneath three police officers, showing no signs of life. 

Officer Derek Chauvin had knelt on Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes with Floyd shouting “I can’t breathe.” The other officers gathered round.

The day after Floyd’s death, the Police Department fired all four of the officers involved in the episode, and on Friday county attorney, Mike Freeman, announced murder and manslaughter charges against Chauvin.

Extra and new charges are being placed as we go to press.

Instead of trying to find ways to make sure what happened to George Floyd never happens again, Kroll tries to justify this senseless killing and have the officers’ charges reduced and even to have them reinstated. 

The people of Minnesota believe that the racism in the police emanates directly from the president of the Minneapolis Police Federation — Bob Kroll. Their cries for justice must not go unheard — Bob Kroll must go.


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