Election 2020

MPD union president stumps for Trump in online video

New ad features other Twin Cities officers and images of burned-out buildings in Minneapolis

Minneapolis Police Federation President Lt. Bob Kroll
Lt. Bob Kroll speaks to other members of the law enforcement community at a campaign event for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jason Lewis in Eagan, Minn. on, Aug. 24, 2020.
Matt Sepic | MPR News File

Updated: 3:15 p.m.

The Trump campaign has released a new online and television ad featuring Minneapolis police officer and police union president Lt. Bob Kroll. 

The ad shows images of burned-out buildings in Minneapolis. Kroll says in the ad that Joe Biden “does not have the backs of police officers.” Other police officers in the ad accuse Democratic candidate Joe Biden of sympathizing with rioters and encourage viewers to vote for Trump. 

Biden has defended peaceful protests but condemned rioting and looting in public statements. He argued in late August that Trump is trying to scare the country with rhetoric about rioting: “[Trump] can't stop the violence because for years he has fomented it." 

Kroll has publicly backed the president in the past, even selling “Cops for Trump” T-shirts through the police federation after the Minneapolis Police Department banned cops from wearing their uniforms in political ads or at campaign events. Kroll didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The Trump campaign identified the others in the video as officers from the Bloomington and Edina police departments, as well as a Minneapolis beat cop. Former president of the Minnesota Fraternal Order of Police Gary Cayo also appeared in the video.

Although Trump has held campaign events in northern Minnesota twice in the last two weeks, his campaign has slashed television ad spending in the state. The campaign cut television ad spending in the Twin Cities market alone by 90 percent this week. But the campaign said the ad is part of a six-figure purchase of ad space in Minnesota and surrounding states. It will run on cable and local broadcast stations in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota.

Kroll himself has been a target of demonstrators demanding justice in the killing of George Floyd. Four former Minneapolis police officers are charged in Floyd's death

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