Off-duty police working Minnesota Lynx game walk off after players wore shirts commemorating black lives, Dallas police officers

AP Photo/Jessica Hill
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Minnesota Lynx players wore shooting shirts for their game yesterday that said on the front:

  • “CHANGE STARTS WITH US”
  • “JUSTICE & ACCOUNTABILITY”

The back had:

  • “PHILANDO CASTILE”
  • “ALTON STERLING”
  • A Dallas police shield
  • “BLACK LIVES MATTER”

Randy Furst of the Minneapolis StarTribune:

Four off-duty Minneapolis police officers working the Minnesota Lynx game at Target Center on Saturday night walked off the job after the players held a news conference denouncing racial profiling, then wore Black Lives Matter pregame warm-up jerseys.

Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis Police Federation, the union that represents rank-and-file officers, praised them for quitting. “I commend them for it,” he said.

Kroll said the four officers also removed themselves from a list of officers working future games. He did not know who the officers were. “Others said they heard about it and they were not going to work Lynx games,” he said.

Asked if other officers will fill in for those who quit, Kroll said, “If [the players] are going to keep their stance, all officers may refuse to work there.”

It’s worth noting that the officers were off-duty and working the game as a supplemental job. They didn’t violate their sworn oath to serve and protect by declining to work private security (though walking off a job probably doesn’t give them the option of doing it again in the future).

I just don’t understand their statement.

Black lives don’t matter?

The killed Dallas police officers shouldn’t be memorialized?

Philando Castile shouldn’t be memorialized?

Alton Sterling shouldn’t be memorialized?

Lynx players shouldn’t look to themselves first when calling for change?

I don’t find any of those ideas worthy of walking off a job in protest, but you do you, Minneapolis police officers. Your constitutionally protected right to free speech allows you to make that statement.