AFSCME Council 5 Executive Director Julie Bleyhl calls for Bob Kroll’s immediate resignation and for us to rebuild our communities in the image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Contact: Max Hall


AFSCME Council 5 Executive Director Julie Bleyhl calls for Bob Kroll’s immediate resignation and for us to rebuild our communities in the image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

June 2, 2020 - AFSCME Council 5 joins together with the Minnesota AFL-CIO and allied unions in calling for the immediate resignation of Bob Kroll as president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis.

Union members have a moral obligation to call out injustice and racism when we see it. Our union has a special and spiritual connection to the civil rights movement and we cannot move forward in our movement without directly calling out the problems that exist in our society. This includes calling out Bob Kroll and members of the Minneapolis Police Department who are standing by and supporting their leadership’s inflammatory statements and actions that are antithetical to our shared values of justice, equity, and fairness for all. Racism is painfully visible in our communities. “An injury to one is an injury to all” and no matter our race, religion, socioeconomic status, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, political identity or the like, we must call out those who perpetuate violence and hate in all of our communities, especially in communities of color. Unions exist to protect the rights of working people, not to prevent the justice system from doing what is right. We are pleased that Attorney General Keith Ellison will be leading the prosecution of George Floyd’s killer. The three other officers involved should be held accountable and charged. The Minnesota Department of Human Rights has filed charges against the Minneapolis Police Department in order to investigate their policies, practices and procedures. 

As AFSCME President Lee Saunders said, "The killing of George Floyd was a shocking and heinous act of violence that demands accountability, transparency, and justice. There can be no public safety unless innocent, unarmed African Americans and all residents feel safe walking the streets in their own communities. As a union that represents several thousand law enforcement officers and a union that has long been in the vanguard of the struggle for civil rights, AFSCME believes we cannot be forced to choose between racial justice or effective policing. A free and healthy society can and must have both."

Brothers and sisters of color: We stand with you. We mourn with you. We will always fight alongside you. We call on Bob Kroll to immediately resign and encourage rank-and-file members within the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis to speak out and work with us and communities of color to build trust. We must work together to reform our systems so that they are truly just, equitable, and moral. Together- we can and will create our future in the image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and when we do, we will have all finally reached the 'promised land’. 

AFSCME Council 5 is a labor union representing more than 43,000 workers who advocate for excellence in services for the public, dignity in the workplace, and opportunity and prosperity for all workers.