Former Mayor R.T. Rybak says Police Federation President is a "cancer"


Following another night of looting, protests and fires in and around Minneapolis after the death of George Floyd, former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak has weighed in on what he believes is a problem inside the police department.

Speaking to News Talk 830 WCCO's Chad Hartman, Rybak went straight after the Minneapolis Police Federation President, Bob Kroll, and pulled no punches in going after the union's leader. 

"We've never had a person leading the Federation who is as bombastic, who is as overtly racist, who is as likely to provide comfort to someone when they do something wrong, who is as central to that toxic culture as Bob Kroll," said Rybak.  "And it is time to name names. Bob Kroll is a cancer on this police department, on this city."

Former mayor Rybak talked about his reactions to some of the violence that has happened in Minneapolis.  "I would have to say that I can feel my soul being eaten away, minute by minute," said Rybak. "And I don't even know how to describe it.  I love this city and I know its imperfections. I think both of those two things we have to hold up together because the love for a place that has done amazing things and the reality that we need where to look flat in the eye about what we've tolerated for too long, and what our role is on that and most important, how we're going to let that acknowledgement get us to the next place.

Rybak also described regret he has from his time in office when it comes to the police department.

"For me, there are a whole lot of things that I got to come out with. One is I spent 12 years as a mayor and I did not get the police reform that I needed to get done and it wasn't for lack of trying. But I've failed."

There is also discussion about the city's officers not residing in the city, something Rybak says is an issue."The state shoved down Minneapolis's throat, something called the Stanek Amendment, which meant that we couldn't require officers to live in the city. And now almost the entire force lives outside of the city. And this is a metropolitan community where people do all sorts of things, but almost every single person protecting and serving the city is not living in the city. You lose that ability to understand the communities and the places."