We repost this report here, after Facebook has begun removing some of our postings. This was originally posted on Facebook on November 19, 2015.
Lieutenant Robert Kroll, Head of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, elected to that position on April 30, 2015.
JOURNALISTS: WE WILL HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE FOR DOING YOUR JOB: CONTEXTUALIZE QUOTES FROM KROLL ON RACE AND POLICE VIOLENCE.
This document has been prepared to begin a backgrounder for journalists on why we believe Lieutenant Robert, Kroll, current Head of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis is not credible on race and policing, and why we therefore demand that journalists who interview Kroll for their stories involving race and policing mention that he has persistently been accused not only of racism, but of actively embracing the organizations of White Supremacy, such as the Ku Klux Klan, and their slogans, such as “White Power.”
To report Kroll’s uncontextualized words in these contexts is not responsible journalism, and reinforces the racist violence that law enforcement is permitted to inflict on communities and individuals of color in this state.
This preliminary report intends to accomplish two goals:
- To break the silence in the media regarding the clear and persistent loyalties to organized and explicit White Supremacist and racist ideals and organizations by law enforcement officer and PD Union Head Lieutenant Robert Kroll. This should have been done by journalists and not left to us. We therefore do not pretend to encyclopedism; these links are intended for journalists to begin this work, and to let journalists know that we expect them to do this work.
- To place journalists who interview Kroll on race-related stories on notice: the community of the Twin Cities will no longer stand for the complicity of media with racist police. It is reasonable to interview the Head of the Law Enforcement Union on race-related stories, especially, as is all to often, the use of violent officer force on citizens of color. It is not acceptable or reasonable, and will not longer be accepted, that in those contexts journalists fail to mention Kroll’s history of racism, or question why he is permitted to speak for law enforcement, or what that means for the Police Union.
Easily Internet-Searchable Documentation of Kroll’s Race Problem:
1994 – “And in 1994 Kroll was initially suspended for five days for excessive use of force, but that decision was later overturned by then-Chief John Laux.” (CP, “The Hit Parade Revisited“)
1995 – He was sued in Federal courts for “beating, choking and kicking in the groin a 15-year-old boy of mixed race while spewing racial slurs.” A Federal grand jury cleared him of any wrongdoing. (PP, “Cop’s Off-Duty Club Questioned In Lawsuit)
1996 – Kroll oversaw an Emergency Response Unit that performed a drug raid so botched that two teams of MPD were firing on each other through a house. In the ensuing confusion, one MPD officer was shot by his own colleagues. The victim inside the house filed suit against the MPD. (See “Friendly Fire,” CP 9/9/1997.)
2002 – Kroll was involved in a Phillips neighborhood “No-Knock” raid on a Native American household, in which he and the other officers
proceeded to assault and humiliate the residents while scouring the house for more than three hours. Elizabeth Hill and Wayne Long Crow were sleeping in a single bed on the third floor of the residence when the officers entered. Long Crow had his hands raised in the air when an unnamed officer allegedly struck his head with the butt end of a rifle, opening a bloody gash in his scalp. He was dispatched by the cops to Hennepin County Medical Center for treatment.
That raid eventually led to a city payout of $60,000. (See “The Hit Parade Revisited,” CP 7/20/2005.)
2003 – “Sgt. Robert Kroll was demoted for three months in 2003 for “ethical violations.” (See “The Hit Parade Revisited,” CP 7/20/2005.)
2004 – Kroll and another cop buddy were off-duty and attacked a pedestrian who brushed against a car with his backpack, beating him down to the ground, and continuing to kick him once down. They then claimed to be “police victims” at the scene, threw the victim in jail for the weekend, and walked away.
As a result of that case, which involved an off-duty fight, Kroll was suspended for 20 days last month. According to nine eyewitnesses’ statements in the CRA file, the scene went something like this:
Jack Mahaffey had been crossing the street in front of Dusty’s bar on Marshall Street Northeast after 10:00 p.m. on a Friday night during the Art-a-Whirl gallery crawl. Mahaffey was a little tipsy, and his backpack hit a car. Two men dressed in jeans and T-shirts got out and confronted Mahaffey, punched him, threw him on the ground, and hit his head on the sidewalk.
As Mahaffey’s friends rushed to help, the two men taunted them: “Bring it on” and “Come and get me, motherfucker,” according to the file. Mahaffey’s sister Flora was punched, and another friend was kicked in the face.
A passerby who was coming home from a shift as a loss-prevention officer at a nearby Rainbow Foods called 911 to break up the melee. After the other officers arrived, Mahaffey and his friends learned a shocking fact: The two assailants were off-duty MPD officers.
One of them was Kroll. According to the police report, Kroll and Wallace Krueger received medical treatment at the scene as “police victims,” and Jack Mahaffey was charged with fourth degree assault, starting a riot, and damage to a motor vehicle. Kroll and Krueger walked away; Mahaffey spent the weekend in jail.
(CP, “Shoot from the lip.”)
2005 – As a part of the Police Federation, which under Delmonico had started filing many lawsuits against the city and the MPD, Kroll published a “primer on giving statements to internal affairs investigators.” (See “The Hit Parade Revisited,” CP 7/20/2005.)
2005 – Kroll involved in a brutal raid regarding which the family filed a lawsuit in 2007, specifically calling out Kroll for his humiliating brutality, noting his violence was not intended to garner compliance. Lawsuit:
2007 – That time that Kroll called Senator Keith Ellison a “Terrorist.” (CP, “Shoot from the lip.”)
2007 – 5 MPD Black and Brown Police Officers filed a federal suit (pp. 4-5, 15), claiming involvement by Kroll and Timothy Dolan in the systematic racist hiring, promotion, and firing of Black police officers, and specifically pointing out that Kroll wore a “White Power” badge on his motorcycle jacket (see “City Heat,” below), had a history of racist behavior, and implies he may have been involved in the distribution of a “KKK” flyer to Black officers. This report is primarily about Kroll’s “Crony” Timothy Dolan, who also deserves a very hard look.
[n.b., we do not currently have documentation on the year of Kroll’s patching into the City Heat M.C. This year is undoubtedly too late as an indicator of his actual affiliation].
Introducing City Heat MC.
This lawsuit brings “City Heat,” the Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club, into the picture. “City Heat” was founded in Chicago in 1981, with a Twin Cities chapter founded in 2004 that has been accused of harboring White Supremacists and tolerating swastikas, iron crosses, and other hate symbolism, as well as “White Pride” patches, on their M.C. jackets. Other LEO MCs have been involved in brutal bar brawls in Sturgis.
Nearly a dozen Minneapolis and St. Paul cops belong to the Twin Cities chapter of City Heat, a Chicago-based, off-duty law-enforcement motorcycle club. The club Web site’s photo gallery contains, last I looked, pictures of some members wearing recognized symbols of hate and racism on their “colors” vests.
One unidentified member is wearing a KKK cross emblem with an “I’m here for the hanging” patch right below it.
Other members wear “No blacks” patches and an assortment of swastikas, Confederate flags, Iron Crosses and other items that hate-crime watchdog groups say are often displayed by members of neo-Nazi or white-supremacist groups.None of the dozen or so Minneapolis and St. Paul cops who belong to the club’s local chapter is seen in the posted pictures wearing any of the items. That includes Minneapolis police Lt. Robert Kroll, a member of City Heat who says he is “vaguely familiar” with the lawsuit. (CP, Rubén Rosario: Cop’s off-duty club questioned in lawsuit)
One of the officers behind the lawsuit, a “20-year veteran,” said this:
I am disturbed that these Minneapolis police officers associate with other law-enforcement officers who very publicly and proudly display racist symbols of hate next to their police department badge and patch,” said Minneapolis police Lt. Medaria Arradondo, a 20-year veteran. (CP, Rubén Rosario: Cop’s off-duty club questioned in lawsuit)
It is relevant, though contested, to note that the City Heat M.C. is an ‘Outlaw’ M.C. that uses the 3-Piece Patch. To read about the significance of such patches, and an opinion on their use by groups like City Heat from an insider point of view, try this: (Why Outlaw MC’s and 1% clubs appear to have such a hatred for certain MC’s)
City Heat’s history of tolerating or even encouraging racism within its ranks has been noted by the Anti-Defamation League. (Bigots on Bikes: The Growing Links between White Supremacists and Biker Gangs)
Bob Kroll’s record in dealing with minorities speaks for itself,” says former MPD cop Mike Quinn.
(CP, Rubén Rosario: Cop’s off-duty club questioned in lawsuit)
Kroll has been accused of physically threatening a city councilman, Ralph Remington, in his capacity as a Police Union member:
Delmonico showed up with Police Federation Board members Lt. Bob Kroll, Officer Dan Ungurian and Officer Lyall Delaney in tow and, according to Remington, ambushed, browbeat and physically threatened him. “We were sitting at a table,” he recalls. “I was on one side and they were all around me. [At one point] Lyall Delaney leans across the table and says, ‘If you don’t do what we tell you to do, we will remove you.’ The threat was clear that he didn’t mean politically. I said, ‘What is that supposed to mean?’ Then, he looked at me, like, basically, ‘You know what that means.’ Then Delmonico nudged him. [Delaney] then said, ‘We won’t endorse you.’ But, that’s not what he meant. They were physically threatening me. Absolutely.”
So here is our demand to journalists covering Black Lives Matter,
and any issue that combines local policing and issues of race:
if you report on Kroll without mentioning his racism problem,
you have become part of the problem.
If you don’t talk about Kroll, we’ll talk about you.
Twin Cities General Defense Committee Local 14 | Black Lives Matter Saint Paul | ABC Detroit | ABC Kansas City | ARA Kansas City | North Star Post
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Examples of Stories in which Kroll was permitted largely or entirely uncontextualized comment as head of the Police Union, on racial-justice issues.
First Group: Stories on the Police Murder of Jamar Clark, and Subsequent Police Violence to Protesters. It was in this context that this document was first created. Thanks to those who suggest links. When doing so, please consider including a typed quote of the most ‘exemplary’ line.
TPT Almanac, November 20, 2015, Kroll is permitted over 6 minutes of soft-ball questions to mischaracterize the shooting and, in fact, directly lie about the shooting, on air. This was egregious. (TPTA Nov 20, 2015 – MPD union head Lt. Bob Kroll)
WCCO characterizes Kroll and Harteau as struggling for control of the MPD: “They’re trying to figure out exactly who is in charge here: ‘the [Police] Union or the Chief?'”(MPD Chief, Union Head Spar Over 4th Precinct Protests On WCCO Radio). But no mention of Kroll’s past.
The embedded WCCO videos at the link below are astonishing. Harteau lies repeatedly about the violence faced by officers from the protesters, and Kroll consistently attempts to criticize her from an even-more-fantastic perspective, describing it as “a local version of Benghazi.”
Second Group: Stories Prior to the Murder of Jamar Clark
Kroll comments on officer caught on tape using force in racist context…
Kroll argues against Personal Police Liability insurance:
Kroll as MFP Pres opposed the repeal of spitting, lurking, other racist ordinances:
Kroll thinks BLM is a destructive force, pulls out the Black On Black crime card:
More on Kroll opposing the repeal of lurking ordinances: