Police union chief Bob Kroll blasted for calling George Floyd a 'violent criminal': 'He's a disgrace to badge'
Kroll serves as the president of the Minneapolis police union and penned a letter to its membership addressing the arrest of Derek Chauvin
Minneapolis police union chief wrote a letter to police officers describing the slain George Floyd as a "violent criminal" and likening the protests following his death to a "terrorist movement."
Lieutenant Bob Kroll, who serves as the president of the Minneapolis police union, penned a letter to its membership addressing the arrest of disgraced officer Derek Chauvin on charges of murdering Floyd and the firing of three other officers at the scene of his arrest. Kroll said in the letter, which was first obtained by the Star Tribune, that the media were not revealing details about Floyd's past criminal record.
"What is not being told is the violent criminal history of George Floyd. The media will not air this. 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.
It is true that Floyd had served prison for aggravated robbery. However, he was not armed or acting in a violent manner when he died, per video footage from the scene, nor was he suspected of a violent crime.
Meanwhile, Kroll also lashed out at violent protesters in his letter. "This terrorist movement that is currently occurring was a long time build up which dates back years," he said.
The union chief received backlash online, with former Minneapolis police chief Janeé Harteau tweeting that Kroll was a "disgrace to the badge".
Speaking of the police's inability to control the violent protests, Kroll blamed it on a lack of support from politicians. "What has been very evident throughout this process is you have lacked support from the top... Given the right numbers, the right equipment and your ability to use them would have ended this Tuesday night," he wrote.
"I've noted in press conferences from our mayor, our governor, and beyond, how they refuse to acknowledge the work of the MPD (Minneapolis police department) and continually shift blame to it. It is despicable behavior," he continued. "How our command staff can tolerate it and live with themselves I do not know."
"No one with the exception of us is willing to recognize and acknowledge the extreme bravery you have displayed through this riot. You have my utmost respect," he added.
Kroll, who once spoke at a rally for President Donald Trump, also revealed he had received death threats in the wake of Floyd's death. He has reportedly had a long history of opposing police reform, per NZ Herald.
In response to the contents of Kroll's letter, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said his opposition to reform and lack of empathy for the community had undermined trust in the police force.
According to a tally compiled by The Associated Press, more than 4,000 people have been arrested over the past week of protests across the country. While Floyd's death while being arrested by former officer Chauvin initially sparked peaceful protests, they soon turned violent after groups such as Antifa came into the fold.
Thousands have taken to the streets to protest systemic racism and call for bringing the police officers responsible for Floyd's death to justice. The arrest crimes have ranged from looting to blocking highways to violent behavior, include those from demonstrations in New York and Philadelphia on the East Coast, Chicago and Dallas in the Midwest and Southwest, and Los Angeles on the West Coast.