Bob Kroll may not BE the disease that has infected the Minneapolis Police Department, but he sure is a primary source of the disease. According to Business Insider, and other sources, Kroll openly wore a "White Power" patch sewn into his jacket. He is also a member of City Heat Motor Cycle Club, which has been cited by the Anti-Defamation League for its white power connections. Furthermore, Kroll has a long history of using racial and homophobic slurs, including calling peaceful African American protesters "terrorists" in the wake of the killing of Jamar Clark by police.
As President of the Police Union, Kroll has spread his toxic hate deeply throughout the police force and, in spite of his high-profile, overtly bigoted statements and behavior, earned the vote of 80% of the police force in his last election, which tells you how grossly toxic and sick the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) has become under his "leadership." MPD is and has been an epicenter of white supremacist activity for years and it is only getting worse.
In the wake of Minneapolis Police officers needless killing of George Floyd, the Twin Cities saw an influx of Kroll's alt-right, white supremacist cohorts in order to engage in terrorist activities, like arson and bombing, with the stated purpose of initiating a race war. (Example: https://tinyurl.com/ybzr6hnq )
Minneapolis tax payers cannot and should not support these kinds of activities with our tax dollars, which is one of the reasons a growing list of high-profile organizations have been severing ties with MPD and why MPD has been "uninvited" from even participating in key City events, such as the Pride Parade.
MPD has been needlessly killing our citizens, stoking racial tensions and destroying the reputation of our otherwise wonderful City. WE NEED TO PUT AN END TO THIS NOW!
In the talk surrounding getting rid of, dismantling or defunding MPD, there are generally two different schools of thought. The first says that issues at MPD are severe and require an urgent, immediate transition to something new. The second proposes a more pragmatic, long-term approach to fundamentally overhauling the way policing in Minneapolis is done. I think that both are right.
One of the most comprehensive sources advocating for the longer-term solutions to changing how we do policing in Minneapolis is the website https://mpd150.com. ( MPD150 ). Their website is rich, engaging and filled with important information Minneapolis residents and officials can use to begin the process of thinking about how we believe policing should be conducted. They correctly say that their solutions will take time. The kinds of broad, systemic changes they proposed must involve the entire community and bringing the community together under a new shared vision will definitely take time and work. Fortunately, they seem to have the community organization skills needed to help make them happen.
Addressing the complex questions surrounding the "how" of policing in Minneapolis will take time. That, however, does not mean we cannot have some dramatic and systemic change right now, because addressing who does the policing is a much more straight-forward issue to address. There are other options available than the current MPD, which is joined at the the hip to a white supremacist run police union.
City officials should immediately replace the MPD with other resources, while ramping up the important work of reinventing policing in Minneapolis for the future.
We have to take both the short-term and long-term approaches to change. We cannot for one more minute continue enabling the chronic, toxic sickness that is systemic at MPD. We must also plan long-term for what we really want from our police. We know we don't have it now and there are plenty of great examples for us to follow elsewhere.
We are, asking the City Council members in the places we live and work to take this broad and systemic approach to solving this problem right now and long into the future. We hope you will join us in asking the same of your Council members! Together, we can get this done! Please share this post and tag your City officials.