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Bob Kroll says he won't retire... out of spite

Bob Kroll was all set to leave his job until he realized that's what everyone wants.

Bob Kroll was all set to leave his job until he realized that's what everyone wants. Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune

We have bad news for Sherral Schmidt. 

Schmidt is a 24-year veteran with the Minneapolis Police Department, where she holds the rank of sergeant, and is vice president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis. As of last year, Schmidt was in line to run for the union's top position in 2021, by which time Lt. Bob Kroll had said he would retire. 

As of this week, Kroll's changing his tune, saying he won't retire because... people want him to. 

Kroll's announcement of sorts came on the Queen and the Cop radio show, with its co-hosts Tracy Fischer-Phillipi (the reigning Ms. U.S. World Elite, according to a Facebook page she runs), and Stacy Braun, a Hennepin County Sheriff's deputy with a habit of running for sheriff of Wright County, where he lives, and losing.

Folks, not only does Queen and the Cop exist, it is two hours long. At  the outset of Tuesday's broadcast, the hosts expressed their sympathy for Kroll and his wife, WCCO's Liz Collin, and suggested protesters who demonstrated outside the couple's house in Hugo this past weekend should face criminal charges.

Two moments from the protest stood out: the breaking of pinatas made to look like Kroll and Collin, and a speech by activist and DFL-endorsed House candidate John Thompson, who suggested Kroll was a Ku Klux Klan leader, and at one point asked: "You think we give a fuck about Hugo burning down?"

Thompson's speech has since been disavowed by DFL leaders, and he has apologized. That's not enough for the Cop.

"As an investigator, I would certainly submit some felony charges there, because I believe there were some terroristic threats made, for one. I would submit charges for certain parts of that ordeal, if it was my case."

Later, Braun added: "Let a jury decide, let a court decide, how about that -- do I think there's enough there for threats of violence, felony threats of violence?" 

(Does Braun want to "let a jury decide" if there's been a criminal "threat of violence" every time a cop pulls his gun and asks someone if they "want to get shot?" No one asked.) 

Kroll, for his part, was more laid-back when he joined the show later. He and Collin weren't home at the time, and no damage was done to the property. Kroll did, however, say the rally stands as evidence to one of his most sensational claims in the past. 

"I've been condemned for calling Black Lives Matter a terrorist organization," he said. "Well, I think after Saturday at my house I have prima facie evidence to support that -- when, I'm going to resign, or you're going to burn down the city of Hugo."

As for resigning, Kroll says he's not even leaving the police force as he'd planned.

"The irony of all this is I turned full retirement eligible weeks ago, and now these people are causing me to stay, 'cuz I can't make it look like they're chasing me out. I've never backed away from a fight in my life. So, now I guess I've gotta keep working longer. How foolish is that? But I can't let 'em think that they're running me out, and I can't quit midway through something here, that's just not in my character. I truly want to retire, and just live my life, and let my wife's work get back to normal, but I can't make it -- can you imagine the victory celebration if I went and turned my retirement papers in? And, in addition to having four lawsuits pending, my life is uncertain, so, the same people that want me gone so bad, from the protesters, to the mayor, to the city council, to the governor, now they're gettin' me stuck here longer."

In fact, if anyone should go, Kroll thinks it's Minneapolis Police Department Chief Medaria Arradondo. 

"The chief needs to communicate to city political leaders that more officers, not fewer, are needed," Kroll told KSTP yesterday. "If he cannot stand up to city leadership and communicate that then he needs to say he cannot do it anymore and step aside and get another job."

There is, of course, one group who think Kroll's got that backward: the people who live in Minneapolis. The recent Star Tribune/KARE 11/MPR poll found 63 percent of people hold a "favorable" opinion of Arradondo, compared to a 62 percent "unfavorable" rating for the department as a whole.

On another question, 76 percent of respondents said the police federation Kroll runs has "too much influence" on "the disciplinary process for officers accused of misconduct." 

See? Kroll can't leave now. Sure, most people don't like him, or trust the union he runs, or have good feelings about the police department as a whole -- but some still do, and Bob "can't quit midway through something here."