Minneapolis police union says members have been 'scapegoated by political leaders'

Minneapolis police union says members have been 'scapegoated by political leaders'
© Getty Images

Bob Kroll, the head of Minneapolis’s police union, accused political leaders of “scapegoating” its members after the death of George Floyd and the arrest of former officer Derek Chauvin.

Kroll told CBS's Gayle KingGayle KingFauci: Lack of masks at Trump rallies frustrating The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump, GOP senators at odds over next stimulus bill Minneapolis police union says members have been 'scapegoated by political leaders' MORE that the union and its members “will be on the right side of history,” in response to comments by Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo in which he said Kroll and others are going to have to come to a reckoning that either they are going to be on the right side of history or they are going to be on the wrong side of history. Or, "they will be left behind.”

“We believe that our membership, that we are elected to represent, has been unfairly scapegoated by political leaders in our city and our state and they have shifted their incompetent leadership — failed leadership — onto us and our members, and it's simply unjust. So here is our opportunity to hopefully set the record straight,” Kroll said, responding to Arradondo’s comments.

ADVERTISEMENT

Kroll and Arradondo, the department’s first African American chief, have a history dating back to before Floyd’s death. Arradondo was one of four Black Minneapolis officers who filed a 2007 lawsuit that accused the department of racial discrimination and claimed that Kroll called now-Attorney General Keith EllisonKeith Maurice EllisonOfficers in George Floyd's death appear in court, motion for separate trials Ex-Minneapolis officer involved in Floyd death asks judge to dismiss murder charge Over 50 current, former law enforcement professionals sign letter urging Congress to decriminalize marijuana MORE (D), who had recently become the first Muslim elected to Congress, a “terrorist.”

Ellison himself told Fox News's Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceDemocrats urge Biden to resist filibuster, court-packing calls The Hill's Campaign Report: GOP set to ask SCOTUS to limit mail-in voting First presidential debate to cover coronavirus, Supreme Court MORE last month that Kroll “operates as sort of an alternative chief who I think undermines good order in the department.”

Kroll also said widely-circulated footage of Floyd’s arrest, in which Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes despite Floyd’s protests that he could not breathe, was “horrific,” but said that body camera footage from officers on the scene had not been made available to the union, and “right now, we cannot make an informed decision regarding the other officers that do not appear on camera.”

He added that “It does look and sound horrible, I completely agree with you,” but said that it was incumbent upon department leadership to “stick with policy and give us what we are entitled to under policy” in terms of footage.