Minneapolis police union leader Bob Kroll referred to George Floyd’s “violent criminal history” in a letter to officers that was leaked on Monday, one in which he seemingly defended the officers who were present at Floyd’s arrest and later fired for it.
Kroll, the president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, has been in controversy before for his vocal support of Donald Trump and controversial stances on claims of police brutality in the Minnesota Twin Cities. He is facing new and sharp controversy this week after reportedly sending a letter to officers vowing to fight for the jobs of those involved in Floyd’s arrest and making what critics say is a smear against the deceased man’s history.
The document was shared online on Twitter on Monday by former Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau, who said Kroll is a “disgrace to the badge” and called for his resignation. In the letter, Kroll referred to a “terrorist movement” occupying the city and said that the media was refusing to report on what he called Floyd’s violent criminal past. He also vowed to fight for the officers who had been fired after Floyd’s death.
“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 attorneys to fight for their jobs. They were terminated without due process,” he wrote.
Kroll has come under fire for the letter, with Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey accusing the police union president of destroying the community’s trust.
“For a man who complains so frequently about a lack of community trust and support for the police department, Bob Kroll remains shockingly indifferent to his role in undermining that trust and support,” he tweeted.
The new update comes amid mounting pressure in Minnesota and across the country for the three other officers involved in Floyd’s arrest to be charged with his murder along with Derek Chauvin, the officer seen on video pressing his knee into the Minneapolis man’s neck and apparently ignoring his pleas that he could not breathe.
Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. This weekend, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said he believed charges against the other three involved in the arrest were “warranted” but said it would be up to prosecutors to make that decision, Fox 9 reported.
Chauvin himself was not arrested until four days after the incident, after mounting political pressure and increasingly turbulent protests spread from the Twin Cities to across the United States. Over the weekend, dozens of cities held protests calling for justice for Floyd’s death, with many growing violent.