Minneapolis police officers are urging Minnesotans to vote for Republican Doug Wardlow for Minnesota attorney general, saying that Democrat Keith Ellison’s anti-law enforcement past is disqualifying.
Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, and other police officers addressed the press Friday, highlighting why Ellison’s “long history of supporting cop killers” makes him unfit for the office of the top law enforcement official in the state.
“Minnesota the choice is clear: Keith Ellison’s anti-law enforcement views are disqualifying. Mr. Ellison has a long history of supporting cop killers,” Kroll said.
Kroll called attention to the murder of Officer Jerry Haaf in 1992 by four members of the Vice Lords gang. Sharif Willis, the leader of the Vice Lords, was shown to be involved in the planning of the murder, but he was never charged due to a lack of sufficient evidence.
Shortly after Haaf’s murder, Ellison stood by Willis, assisting in the organization of a gang demonstration against Minneapolis police. Months later, Ellison spoke at another demonstration in support of one of Haaf’s murderers. Scott Johnson, a Minneapolis attorney and contributor to Powerline Blog, detailed Ellison’s anti-law enforcement history in a column in the Weekly Standard.
Since being called out on his support of Willis, Ellison has said that he wants good relations with police officers. Kroll, however, believes that Ellison’s public stance is different than his private beliefs, saying that Ellison has a “different agenda that is, quite frankly, anti-law enforcement.”
Kroll also addressed Ellison’s plans to have the attorney general’s office more involved in investigating officer-involved shootings. Kroll shot down the idea, adding that it would be a “conflict of interest with his historical relations with police.”
“He’s been on the other side, representing criminal defense against our officers for many years,” Kroll said. “I think he has a bias against police and I don’t think that he could be impartial if he go down that path.”
The domestic violence allegations against Ellison also came up, with Kroll saying that “someone with that type of history is not qualified” to serve as the top law enforcement official.
“Ellison’s past conduct is disqualifying,” Kroll said. “Minnesota should be concerned about the prospect of him as our top law enforcement official. Most recently, the domestic assault allegations speak for themselves. Someone with that type of history is not qualified for the office of top law enforcement official in our state.”
Kroll praised Wardlow as a “great ally of law enforcement” that will keep Minnesota “fair and safe.”
“Doug will rebuild the criminal law division of the [attorney general’s] office,” Kroll said. “He’ll focus public safety, he’ll combat the spread of opioids and other drugs into our community, he’ll work hard to fight human trafficking. Doug will support law enforcement, not stand against us. He’ll work with us to keep minnesota families safe.”
“We are urging Minnesotans to get out and vote for Doug Wardlow Tuesday,” Kroll added. “He will make Minnesota fair and safe. He will work with law enforcement to solve public safety across Minnesota.”
The Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis represents more than 900 law enforcement professionals and is the largest non-affiliated law enforcement union in the state of Minnesota. The federation endorsed Wardlow in September.
Watch the full press conference below: