MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - The head of the Minneapolis Police union is defying a recent ban implemented by the Minneapolis mayor to get rid of "warrior" training used for officers.
The warrior training has come under fire from critics who say it actually teaches officers to perceive everyone as a threat. Earlier this month, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced during his State of the City address he will no longer allow the training under his leadership. Minneapolis became the first department nationwide to eliminate this type of training.
“This is not the kind of training that people in Minnesota want to fund—it’s not the kind of training that people in Minnesota want our officers to engage in," said Michelle Gross of Communities Against Police Brutality.
Travis Yates is the director of Training for Law Officer, a program that implements a variety of training methods including officer survival, leadership and de-escalation tactics for law enforcement professionals across the country. Shortly after Frey’s announcement, he posted a training video directed at Minneapolis officers.
“So I have a message for Minneapolis officers—stay encouraged, stay in the fight,” said Yates in the video.
A few days after Frey’s address, organizers from Law Officer reached out to Minneapolis Police Federation President Bob Kroll to offer their services free of charge as long as Frey is mayor.
“It’s their private phone—it’s their private time—they’re very good videos,” said Kroll. “I believe if the Mayor saw what actually occurred in these things, he would be supportive of it.”
Kroll says the daily training videos can be viewed by officers through an app or on the website and must be done during off-duty hours.
The mayor issued a statement to FOX 9 saying in part, "Officers found to pursue any training that conflicts with MPD’s training and has not been preapproved will be subject to discipline.”
Kroll says he's not concerned about violating policy.
"If he wants to pay our officers 24/7 to abide by everything we are certainly amenable to that,” said Kroll.
The Minneapolis Police spokesman John Elder released the following statement:
“The new training policy was enacted to ensure that officers only receive training on use of force and deescalation that is consistent with the carefully developed training provided by the Minneapolis Police Department. The policy just requires pre-approval for external trainings on these topics to make sure there is not a conflict. The MPD encourages and supports training for its staff that encompasses officer and community safety based on procedurally just methodology.”