Police officers in Minneapolis have been banned by the police department from wearing their uniforms to any political rallies or to endorse candidates for 2020 in a move widely interpreted as a hit to Trump supporting cops, since the new uniform policy comes just after President Trump announced that he would be holding a rally in the Democrat-governed city.
But, the men in blue are not letting this affect them!
The Minneapolis police are now selling “Cops For Trump” t-shirts and planning to wear them in a “sea of red” to the Trump rally, which will take place next Thursday.
Check it out:
CBS Minnesota has more details on what the Minneapolis cops have planned:
Ahead of a President Donald Trump rally in Minneapolis and a controversial new uniform policy, the Minneapolis police union is selling a shirt in support of the president.
On Saturday, Lt. Bob Kroll, Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis president, posted a photo of the shirt on his Facebook page and asked for others to share.
The shirts, which say “Cops for Trump,” are being sold for $20 each. The proceeds all go to benefit the police union’s charities.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced a new policy hours after the president announced he was holding a rally at Target Center. New Minneapolis Police Department policy prevents off-duty officers from appearing in uniform during political rallies or while endorsing candidates.
Star Tribune gave more insight:
The Minneapolis police union has come out with a “Cops for Trump” T-shirt, just days after the Police Department banned officers from wearing their uniforms in support of candidates at political events or in ads.
Lt. Bob Kroll, head of the officers’ union, posted the T-shirt image on his personal Facebook page, saying the shirts will be for sale starting Monday at the union’s headquarters for $20 each and will soon be available online.
The shirt has stars and stripes in the shape of Minnesota along with three different law enforcement badges.
Last week, Kroll accused the Police Department of instituting its new policy just before President Donald Trump’s visit to Minneapolis. He said he was told about the ban Sept. 27, one day after Trump announced Thursday’s rally at Target Center, and after Mayor Jacob Frey’s statement that Trump was unwelcome in the city.
“My members are outraged,” Kroll said in a televised interview Sept. 29 with Fox News. “A lot of them want to be there; they want to be in the backdrop, have an opportunity to meet him. He’s shown that he’s a very pro-law enforcement president.”
The Police Department denied a political motive, saying the shift had been under consideration since early this year.
While police "in uniform" are being banned from showing up at the Trump rally, uniformed law enforcement were allowed and appeared at an Obama rally for gun control back in 2013.
On this, USA Today said:
Members of the local union were outraged when they learned they couldn't wear their uniform to the rally, Kroll said, noting they had been ordered to appear at past presidential visits, including one by President Barack Obama in 2013.
But while Obama did appear against a backdrop of uniformed men and women in Minneapolis in February 2013, it was for a presidential event on gun control measures and not a political rally.
That's a key difference, according to Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, who said it's not uncommon for police departments to ban their officers from dressing in uniform at a campaign event.
"When they wear their uniform, they're representing their departments, they're not representing themselves," he said. "If they're not working, most departments would prohibit them from wearing their uniform to a political rally."
Kroll argues the policy underscores the political divide between officials in Minneapolis, a Democratic stronghold, and local officers who may skew more Republican.
He and other officers came under scrutiny in 2018 when they appeared in a campaign ad with former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who promised to crack down on immigration. Mayor Frey and other officials criticized the ad, noting the officers' appearance conflicted with Minneapolis status as a "sanctuary city."
“This is the party that preaches are all welcome here," Kroll said of Minnesota's Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, the local Democratic party. "They’re supposed to be accepting of all – except Republicans."