MINNEAPOLIS, MN – The president of the Minneapolis Police Federation said Monday that he has been ordered not to wear his uniform during media interviews while representing the union, one week after he angered the mayor and others for calling the Minnesota Lynx attendance “pathetic.”
Lt. Bob Kroll, who heads the union representing rank-and-file officers, said he received a letter from Chief Janeé Harteau ordering him to stop wearing the uniform when speaking with media — unless he is speaking on behalf of the department. Kroll said he is preparing a written response “in hopes of getting this resolved.”
Sgt. Catherine Michal, a department spokesperson, would say only that Harteau wrote the letter, saying it contained “private personnel data.”
Four off-duty Minneapolis officers working the July 9 game at Target Center walked off after taking offense at players’ warm-up jerseys that showed support for Black Lives Matter and victims of recent high-profile shootings in Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights and Dallas.
The dispute escalated after Kroll commended the officers for quitting and then said the team only needed four officers because of “pathetic” attendance. The comments drew criticism from Mayor Betsy Hodges, who called them “jackass remarks.” Harteau criticized the officers for walking off a job.
The officers have resolved their differences and returned to the off-duty work.