The Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis are finally breaking their silence after repeatedly refusing requests for comment in regards to the death of George Floyd, an incident that sparked nationwide calls for policing reform.
Union officials aired their dismay as to how the critics of the Minneapolis police department have unfairly vilified them, and fired at local officials who called for major reform of the department.
Police union president Bob Kroll said in an interview, “We have become scapegoats in this, the people to blame lays squarely [sic] on the shoulders of our political leadership.”
After Floyd died, Minneapolis became the center for criminal justice reform advocates.
An eyewitness video showed how former police officer Derek Chauvin pressed on Floyd’s knee for nearly eight minutes.
When asked about the controversial video, police union representative Rich Walker answered he was “horrified.”
“I don’t know what was going through Officer Chauvin’s mind, but I can say that I don’t agree with how it ended,” Walker said.
“And to this day I still believe that Mr. Floyd should still be here.”
Kroll echoed Walker’s comments, but stopped short of indicating what he thinks should happen to Chauvin, as he did not want to pass judgment on the former officer.
“There was a firefighter at the scene saying, you know, ‘check him, check him’. The light should have went (sic) off to do that, but we’re not going to pass judgment,” said Kroll.
Union representatives strongly criticized Minneapolis police department leadership when they allowed rioters to set the 3rd police precinct building ablaze and showing no effort to protect the building.
Union director Sgt. Anna Hedberg said some officers were scrambling to get their belongings out of the 3rd precinct before it fell.
“That’s just … that was one of the hardest things to ever watch in my career,” exclaimed Hedberg.
“To watch 54 cops that shouldn’t have been there get chased down the street because the failed politicians allowed them to be there, knowing full well that they weren’t going to send the resources.”