US

Minneapolis Cops to Wear ‘Cops for Trump’ T-shirts to Rally After Mayor Bans Uniforms

By Samuel Allegri

“Cops for Trump” shirts have been selling as fast as they can be printed in Minneapolis, where Democratic Mayor Jacob Frey put into effect a controversial policy banning off-duty officers from wearing their uniforms to political events.

The policy was implemented one day after the announcement of President Trump’s rally in the city, causing discontent among Minneapolis police officers. They plan to go to President Trump’s rally wearing the specially-printed T-shirts instead, creating a “sea of red,” USA Today reports.

Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, posted a photo of the red T-shirt that will be sold online for $20 dollars.

Kroll said that the policy is politically motivated.

“It was kept completely secret from us,” Kroll said. “We believe it infringes upon the federation’s rights to have influence in the political process, and let them know where our federation stands and who our federation endorses.”

“In compliance with policy, we don’t want any issue,” Kroll said. “So, we just thought you know what we’ll turn the place into a sea of red with the shirts we designed. And, they’re available and we can’t keep them on the shelves. They’ve been selling out as fast as they come in!”

Trump expressed his thanks on Twitter to Kroll for his support, “Thank you to Lt. Bob Kroll of the great Minneapolis Police Department for your kind words on @foxandfriends. The Police are fighting the Radical Left Mayor, and his ridiculous Uniform Ban. Actually, I LOVE the Cops for Trump shirts. Want to bring some home. I am with you 100%!!!!” Trump said.

Major Frey, however, said that politics are not related to policing and that police staff have first amendment rights.

“Politics and the work of the Minneapolis Police Department are separate,” Frey said. “They are individuals within our department, certainly have a First Amendment right to support whichever party or whatever individual they choose.”

According to The Washington Post, city officials told Target Center, the location for Trump’s rally, would be responsible for an exorbitant $530,000 security bill that the city said they need to provide for security service for the president’s visit.

Target Center arena then said they would cancel the rally unless the Trump campaign paid the bill, to which Trump’s campaign responded by accusing Frey of attempting to stop the rally, and only after the campaign threatened to sue the arena owners, was the bill withdrawn.

Frey said on Tuesday that his intent was to keep public safety and was not political.

“What I’m doing is watching out for our taxpayers, something our president should be doing, too,” Frey said. “It’s not extortion to ask someone to pay their bills, even when that person really hates paying their bills.”

Trump wrote on the morning of the same day, “Someone please tell the Radical Left Mayor of Minneapolis that he can’t price out Free Speech. Probably illegal! I stand strongly & proudly with the great Police Officers and Law Enforcement of Minneapolis and the Great State of Minnesota! See you Thursday Night!”

Support of Law Enforcement

Trump has long supported law enforcement and has vowed to make “officer safety a top priority.”

Saying on one occasion that, “In my administration, we understand that reducing crime begins with respecting law enforcement. We will not tolerate smears, or slanders or assaults on those who wear the badge and police our streets.”

When social media posts of police officers being doused in water appeared, Trump spoke out, saying it was very disrespectful and that it should stop.

“We love our Law Enforcement Officers all around this great Country. What took place in NYC with water being tossed on NYPD officers was a total disgrace. It is time for  NYCMayor BilldeBlasio to STAND UP for those who protect our lives and serve us all so well…” Trump wrote on Twitter, “What took place was completely unacceptable, and will not be tolerated. Bill de Blasio should act immediately!”

The president’s support appears to be given back in return. He has been endorsed by the National Fraternal Order of Police in 2016 and the International Union of Police Associations (IUPA) has endorsed him for his 2020 re-election bid.