Crime, Law and Justice

Minneapolis police union sells 'Cops for Trump' T-shirts

A facebook post from Bob Kroll showing a red T-shirt
Minneapolis police union president Bob Kroll said the federation would start selling "Cops for Trump" T-shirts ahead of an appearance by the president scheduled for Minneapolis this week.
Courtesy photo

Updated: 11:40 a.m.

The Minneapolis Police Federation is trying to restore its website after it was overloaded with orders for its "Cops for Trump" T-shirts.

Union president Bob Kroll said on Facebook that demand for the T-shirts is "huge." The police union began selling the T-shirts after the Minneapolis police department banned cops from wearing their uniforms in political ads or at events as a show of candidate support.

On Twitter, the President Trump thanked the union and said he wanted to bring some of the T-shirts home with him following his campaign rally in Minneapolis this week.

Kroll unveiled the new T-shirt on his Facebook page over the weekend and said they are available for sale at the union’s northeast Minneapolis headquarters. Kroll said the shirts will also available for online orders at the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis website.

The red shirts read “Cops for Trump” and feature an American flag shaped like the state of Minnesota. The design also includes an outline of three common badge shapes, including that of the Minneapolis Police Department.

The shirt sale follows a back-and-forth between the union, Mayor Jacob Frey and the city’s police chief late last month. Federation leaders said they were told that a review of the police department’s uniform policy had resulted in a decision to ban officers from overt political activities.

In August 2018, some officers appeared in a campaign literature photo with former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who was seeking the Republican endorsement for governor. Police also said they had been ordered to appear in the past with Democratic Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said he wanted his officers to avoid any perceptions of bias going forward.

“I received several concerns from stakeholders regarding the perception of political bias and favor of the MPD when some of our employees endorsed political candidates while wearing the MPD uniform,” Arradondo said in a recent statement.

“The new policy prohibits MPD employees from wearing the MPD uniform while endorsing political candidates. Trust is the cornerstone of our service and I believe this policy helps to strengthen that.”