The police will do whatever they want, regardless of how many new training programs the department puts into place. “New police training targets bias ‘fair and impartial’ program puts officers to the test” (Star Tribune, July 25, 2015).
Without officers knowing it, the entire Minneapolis police force was “put to the test” in April, and 414 officers failed. They were not fair and impartial; they behaved in a biased arrogant manner. In April the Police Officers Federation voted in a new president and 414 Minneapolis police officers voted for the new president, Lt. Bob Kroll, once accused of calling Rep. Keith Ellison a terrorist. .
Have they convinced themselves that enforcing prejudiced beliefs is acceptable if done through a democratic vote? Kroll denies calling Rep. Keith Ellison “a terrorist.” Then-Chief Tim Dolan issued a public apology to Ellison. Four hundred and fourteen officers felt comfortable voting for an individual who would make such a statement and then lied about making it — just the type of mature, responsible leadership Minneapolis police officers are looking for in a new union president. Yet, a total disregard for people of color.
The sad part is that his terrorist remark probably won him some votes.
Frank Erickson lives in Minneapolis.