Four Minneapolis officers working security for a WNBA Minnesota Lynx game walked out in response to comments made and shirts worn by the team’s players Saturday. The players sported warm up shirts reading “Change starts with us” on the front and “Philando Castile Alton Sterling Black Lives Matter” on the back. The officers chose to leave their posts at Target Center in response to the players stance on the issue.
Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis Police Federation, supports the officer’s decision to stand up for their beliefs. He believes that other Law enforcement officers will follow in their footsteps. He told the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
I commend them for it…Others said they heard about it and they were not going to work Lynx games,
The four officers that left have taken their names off the list of those who may work future games for the team and arena.
Many believe that by singling out black lives, supporters of the movement are disregarding other lives such as white, Asian, hispanic and other groups such as police.
Maya Moore, forward for the Lynx, claimed that the shirts were not anti-police. She took time to praise the Dallas police department’s efforts to lead the way deescalation training and credits their efforts for the decline in shootings by officers in the past few years. At the same time Moore claimed the shirts were meant to “highlight a longtime problem of racial profiling.”
Kroll stated that the walkout isn’t part of a larger movement but that, as individuals, other officers may choose to refuse to work for the team or stadium. Only four officers were on staff that night due to chronic low attendance for the team.
The Target Center will use private security for the remainder of the year.