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AFL-CIO joins call for Mpls. Police Union's Bob Kroll to resign

Minnesota AFL-CIO President Bill McCarthy is asking Bob Kroll to hand in his resignation immediately, saying he has failed the labor movement and Mpls. residents.
Credit: KARE 11
Minneapolis Police Union President Lt. Bob Kroll

MINNEAPOLIS — The state's largest labor federation is joining the call for Minneapolis Police Union President Bob Kroll to resign in the wake of the officer-involved death of George Floyd.

Minnesota AFL-CIO President Bill McCarthy issued a statement Tuesday afternoon asking Bob Kroll to hand in his resignation immediately, saying he has failed the labor 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 antagonizes and disparages members of the Black community," said McCarthy. "He advocates for military-style police tactics making communities less safe and the police force more deadly. Despite his conduct, Kroll was reelected with an overwhelming majority. If Bob Kroll does not value the lives that he is sworn to protect, then we can only expect more death under his leadership."

McCarthy says instead of seeking meaningful dialogue with the community or seeking reform to make sure what happened to George Floyd never happens again, Kroll is instead seeking to have the officers involved reinstated. 

"Unions exist to protect workers who have been wronged, not to keep violent people in police ranks," McCarthy stated. "All four police officers involved in George Floyd’s murder must be charged."

Later in the day, the president of Education Minnesota joined the AFL-CIO's call for Kroll's resignation.

“Educators and other members of organized labor are committed to seeking racial justice,” Denise Specht said in a statement. “There is no place for leaders who support or defend racist actions and policies in our movement. Through his actions and words, Lt. Kroll has shown himself unfit to lead in the modern labor movement.”

The demand for Kroll to resign by the AFL-CIO comes one day after a similar call from former Minneapolis Police Chief Janae Harteau, who on Monday tweeted "A disgrace to the badge!  This is the battle that myself and others have been fighting against.  Bob Kroll turn in your badge!"

Harteau made her post after sharing a letter that Kroll reportedly wrote to Minneapolis Police union members. In the letter, which appears to be addressed to members of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, Kroll writes, "I've worked with the four defense attorneys that are representing each of our four terminated individuals under criminal investigation, in addition with our labor attorney's (sp) to fight for their jobs. They were terminated without due process."  

In the letter Harteau shared, Kroll tells membership he's been out of the public eye to protect the safety of officers, and says he's been a "visible target" and received death threats.

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