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Friday, March 02, 2007

Minneapolis Finest

Note: I was trying to post this last night, and blogger was goofy. I had deleted references to the name of the officer. Now the officer, Bob Kroll - who is Vice President of the Police Federation - was named in the Star Tribune this morning. This speaks poorly of the Police Federation. Is this the type of person they choose for leadership?

From the Minneapolis Rumors List:

How dare Lt. [name deleted], of the Minneapolis Police Department call Congressman Keith Ellison a Terrorist!

Before any police officer get on her and claim this to be fabricated, as I have read many times in the past, I have check and re-check and know this to be true.

During a Ethics training class in the Minneapolis Police Department, yesterday, February 27, 2007. A Lieutenant name [name deleted], said, "We are at war with Islamic Terrorists and these idiots elected one to Congress. A Black female Officer, I do not have her name yet, was angered by this statement and asked Lt. [name deleted] if he was calling Keith Ellison a terrorist and Lt. [name deleted] said, "He's Islamic and we are at war with the Islamic." My understanding was that the Black female Officer was so outraged. The instructor had to step in to cool the situation off. Clearly an Ethics class is not what Lt. [name deleted] needs. Ironically, I'm told that the Assistant Chief or a Deputy Chief was also in the class.

How dare you call our Congressman a terrorists. [name deleted] should be immediately remove from serving the City of Minneapolis.

Camille Johnson
Near North

I forwarded this message to Don Samuels and Scott Benson asking them to look into this. Scott Benson forwarded it on to the Police Department - and will let me know what he finds out. Another poster suggested this was rumor, but followed up with a defense of the Leutenant.

It sounds like you are basing your post on rumor; someone heard, someone said, you don't know the name, etc. Even if this fine police officer did say the things you say, everybody is entitled to their own opinion, even cops. How do you know Ellison not part of a Islamic terrorist plot to put people into Government positions?

Are you so naive to think they are not out to do this? Don't you know that Minnesota is one of the top states that have terrorist connections? The fact is...we are at war. Islamic fanatics are out to take over the United States...period! The sooner people realize this and quit trying to deny it the better off for all of us.

If people (cops are people) can't express their opinion without getting chastised and raked over the coals for their opinion, then we don't really have free speech, and then we really have no Democracy. And that's just what the terrorists silence the people. And you seem to play right into their hands, creating an environment that tries to stop (or belittle) people from speaking their minds, or
speaking up for themselves and for the people of the United States.

If Lt. [name deleted] did say this...good for him, he has the right to say it and the guts to say it. We need more like him.

By the way, has Ellison paid up his traffic tickets yet.


If the leutenant did say this, I have a hard time believing he would be fair when protecting and serving muslim residents and visitors to the city. I hope some reporters follow up, and get this guy on the record. I would be very interested in interviewing this guy about this for Lloydletta's Nooz.

I hear there will be some other media coverage of this. Developing...

Bob Kroll is the Vice President of the Police Federation.
The Strib now has a story about this.
It's good there is an internal investigation. The problem isn't that this officer is critical of Ellison, it's his broad-brush characterization of muslims as terrorists.

From the article:

The exact comments that Kroll made while participating in the class were not spelled out by Dolan or Rybak. But two officers present at Tuesday's ethics training class, who spoke on condition that they not be named, said Kroll made a remark about "being at war with Islamic terrorists" and that "one was elected to Congress." When an officer angered by the comment asked if he was calling Ellison a terrorist, Kroll said, "He's Islamic and we are at war with the Islamic," the two officers said.

In his e-mail, Dolan also wrote that Kroll questioned the ethics of any city that would hire a city coordinator convicted of a misdemeanor crime. Kroll said he made a statement about Rybak's appointments but never mentioned a specific position. City Coordinator Steven Bosacker, who had a misdemeanor conviction of indecent conduct in 2000, declined to comment.

Said Kroll: "I think the chief has been given an inaccurate account. When the investigation is over, I'll be cleared of any wrongdoing."

The Police Federation president was asked to comment. The article continues:

Sgt. John Delmonico, president of the Police Federation, said the allegations are serious and it would be unacceptable for anyone, let alone a federation board member, to say them. He called Dolan's department-wide e-mail unprecedented, because the matter is under investigation.

In the e-mail, Dolan said it was appropriate that classmates challenged Kroll's comments. "As a department, we must keep ourselves accountable while adhering to high standards of respect in matters of diversity," he wrote. "The comment not only offends a U.S. representative duly elected by the citizens of Minnesota, but more importantly, it offends our own officers of Muslim faith."

In February, Kroll finished serving a 20-day suspension for his involvement in an off-duty fight. He said the suspension is being appealed.

It sounds as if several people are corroborating the account about those statements.

The Chief's email to officers is on the Strib website. From the email:

The alleged comments, if they in fact they occurred, are unacceptable. Our department code of ethics states clearly that "[employees will] ....not use words or terms which hold any person, group or organization up to contempt." The reason for this code is that such statements are prejudicial and offensive to others. Prejudice is any unreasonable judgment or opinion toward an individual or group based on their race, creed, region, occupation, etc. Therefore, calling Representative Keith Ellison a terrorist is a prejudicial statement. The comment not only offends a U.S. Representative duly elected by the citizens of Minnesota, but more importantly, it offends our own officers of Muslim faith.

Was the comment about hiring a City Coordinator convicted of a misdemeanor prejudicial? Maybe not on it's face. But if the comment was said in the context of one's sexual orientation, this comment is also unacceptable as it prejudice. We do not know the Lieutenant's motivation for the comment. But I do question it since he currently is appealing my recent termination of an officer for a criminal conviction.

The real problem is whether people is these groups this officer is sworn to protect and serve are going to get a fair shake.