Minneapolis police officers have been told that they cannot attend a Donald Trump rally while wearing their uniforms unless they’re on duty at the time, USA Today reports. Not being able to wear their uniforms, the Trump-supporting cops plan to show up en masse wearing red shirts bearing the slogan “Cops For Trump,” with a spokesperson saying they hope Trump is greeted by a “sea of red” when he comes to town.
Trump is scheduled to hold a rally in Minneapolis on Thursday, his first since the formal impeachment inquiry against him began in the House of Representatives. It’s not uncommon for Trump to be surrounded by uniformed police officers when he holds rallies — both those acting as a police presence at the event, and by those who simply turned up to support him. Trump, for his part, has long presented himself as an ally of law enforcement; for example, in July, Trump tweeted in support of New York City police officers who were having water thrown on them by angry residents.
However, in Minneapolis, a new policy prevents police officers from wearing their uniforms to political events when they’re off duty. Police spokesman John Elder says that the policy prevents the police department as a whole from being associated with a particular political stance.
“The uniform gets translated back to the average person as someone being from the police department,” he said.
Minneapolis police union Pres. Bob Krull tells FNC the website crashed for “Cops For Trump” T’s that @realDonaldTrump tweeted about.— Matt Finn (@MattFinnFNC) October 8, 2019
Krull says they’re selling/shipping nationwide as they get them in quanities of 500. pic.twitter.com/arx1JD5Xeb
However, Bob Kroll, president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, believes the entire thing is a dig against Donald Trump. Specifically, he notes that Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is no fan of Trump. Frey, for example, said that Trump’s “message of hatred” is not welcome in Minneapolis.
“Under ordinary circumstances, it would be an honor to welcome a sitting President of the United States to Minneapolis… [However,] since taking office President Trump’s actions have been reprehensible and his rhetoric has made it clear that he does not value the perspectives or rights of Minneapolis’ diverse communities,” Frey said.
Barred from wearing their uniforms to the Trump rally unless they’re on duty, Kroll says that the cops are turning to Plan B: wearing red shirts that say “Cops For Trump.” Kroll hopes that so many cops, and their supporters, will turn up wearing the shirts that Trump will be greeted by a “sea of red” when he comes to town.
Kroll says, via Fox News, that the shirts, which cost $20, are selling out fast.
“They’re available and we can’t keep them on the shelves,” he said.