Police in Minnesota have found a new way to show their political support after a change in city policy banned off-duty officers from wearing their uniforms to rallies.
President Donald Trump recently announced a rally in Minneapolis on Thursday, but off-duty police officers in attendance will not be allowed to wear their uniforms, WCNC reported.
Lt. Bob Kroll, head of the Minneapolis police union, says he learned about the ban on Sept. 27 — a day after Trump’s rally was announced, the Star-Tribune reported.
“My members are outraged,” Kroll told Fox News in September. “A lot of them want to be there; they want to be in the backdrop, have an opportunity to meet him. He’s shown that he’s a very pro-law enforcement president.”
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said told the Star-Tribune the change has been in consideration since the beginning of the year and is an attempt to prevent the department from appearing biased.
“I don’t want the MPD to be politicized,” Arradondo told the news outlet. “I did not want those in our communities to feel the MPD was showing any bias or favor towards a particular party or candidate.”
In light of the change, members of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis have developed a new way to show their support: T-shirts.
The red shirts — for sale at the POFM and soon to be on their website — read “Cops for Trump” and showcase an American flag in the shape of Minnesota along with silhouettes of three law enforcement badges, according to a photo posted to Kroll’s Facebook page.
Proceeds from the shirts, which are being sold for $20, will be donated to POFM charities, the post said.
Social media responses to the shirts have been polarized.
“The only reason I won’t be wearing one is that it would be dishonest, as I’ve never worked in law enforcement,” one user commented on Kroll’s post.
“Wow! What a shame!! But you want the community to support your officers wearing this crap!!! Come up with something better and less racist,” wrote another.
“Love it! Does it come in a V neck? Keep up the good work.”
“Hey Officer Kroll. I really support the MPD and I live on the Northside,” another wrote. “Pick your battles. I don’t care who votes for who but wish you could keep the conversation out of the workplace like the rest of us do.”