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Former police union head barred from serving in 3 counties

Former Minnesota Police Union President Bob Kroll has been barred from serving in Hennepin, Anoka, and Ramsey counties following a settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union on Monday.

As well as being barred from serving in three counties for the next 10 years, Kroll is also barred from serving on the Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, which determines licensing for police officers in the state.

"This settlement achieves a much-needed goal,” ACLU of Minnesota Legal Director Teresa Nelson wrote in a statement. “It takes Bob Kroll, a police leader and union head with a long history of racist and inflammatory statements, off the beat and out of police leadership in the Twin Cities metro for a decade.”

The lawsuit stems from Kroll’s treatment of protestors after the death of George Floyd, where the ACLU claims Kroll abused his authoritative power to retaliate against them for using their first amendment rights.

Kroll has had a long and controversial history in the state. In 1995, he was accused and sued in federal court for using racial slurs while beating a 15-year-old boy. In 2002, he was named in a lawsuit involving excessive force, which resulted in a $60,000 settlement. Kroll was demoted in 2003 for ethical violations. He was suspended for 20 days following a beating of a man and punching the man’s sister while off-duty in 2004. A month later, he called then congressman Keith Ellison a terrorist. In 2019, after Minneapolis banned warrior-style training for police officers, Kroll said the police union would offer that training for free. In 2020, Kroll called Black Lives Matter a terrorist organization and called Floyd a violent criminal. His comments led to an outcry from over a dozen political figures for his resignation.

“He should have been held accountable a long time ago,” Local Activist and Plaintiff Nekima Levy Armstrong said. “But this settlement agreement, which prohibits his ability to serve as a law enforcement officer in three counties and in various law enforcement leadership positions, is precisely what is needed.”

The Minnesota Police and Peace Officer Association did not respond to a request for comment. As part of the settlement, Kroll does not have to admit guilt to any charges. The settlement also includes two lawsuits, Samaha v. City of Minneapolis and Armstrong v. City of Minneapolis that were consolidated by a judge earlier in the year.

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