The Minneapolis police union called a press conference Friday to speak out against Rep. Keith Ellison’s (D-MN-05) bid for Minnesota attorney general.
Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, was joined by two fellow officers in declaring their opposition to Ellison’s “anti law-enforcement views.”
“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 stated during the press conference. He called attention to Ellison’s legal representation of Sharif Willis, a leader of Minneapolis’ Vice Lords criminal gang who was implicated in the 1992 murder of officer Jerry Haaf.
While Ellison didn’t represent Willis during the time of Haaf’s murder, he was his defense attorney some years later when Willis was arrested for holding several civilians at gun point and possessing cocaine. After Haaf’s murder, Ellison also spoke at an event organized by Willis’ “United for Peace” organization, which seemingly seeks to end gun violence in the Twin Cities and encourage a conversation with local police officers, though it’s mission is rather elusive.
“The main point of our rally is to support United for Peace in its fight against the campaign of slander the police federation has been waging,” Ellison said during the rally, according to Powerline’s Scott Johnson, who has written about Ellison’s past in great detail.
Kroll, however, has some serious concerns about Ellison’s previous connections to Willis, saying Ellison was “known as the gang attorney.”
“He represented Sharif Willis, who is suspected of plotting the execution at his home,” Kroll said, referencing the execution-style murder of Haaf. “His ties to the Vice Lords gang are disturbing.”
“Ellison’s past conduct is disqualifying. Minnesota should be concerned about the prospect of him as our top law-enforcement official,” Kroll continued, urging Minnesotans “to get out and vote for Doug Wardlow.”
“Doug Wardlow is a great ally of law enforcement. He’ll be a fantastic attorney general. We at the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis know Doug is committed to making Minnesota fair and safe. Doug will rebuild the criminal law division of the AG’s office, which has been lacking,” Kroll argued.
When asked by reporters if his fellows officers agree with him, Kroll said the his colleagues “overwhelmingly” share his concerns about Ellison. He noted that his police union represents “approximately 900 officers” as well as “all of Minneapolis Park Police.”
“We are the elected officials that speak on their behalf,” he continued, saying he doesn’t “wholeheartedly believe” Ellison’s claims that he wants to befriend local police.
“I believe Keith would like the public to believe that. I think he’s got a different agenda that quite frankly is anti law-enforcement,” Kroll concluded. “I think he has a bias against police, and I don’t think he could be impartial.”
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