Minneapolis police leave Lynx game over shirts

When members of the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx wore T-shirts seeking change following the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, who were both fatally shot by police officers recently, they weren’t the only group taking action Saturday.

Four off-duty Minneapolis police officers who were working security for Saturday’s Lynx game elected to leave their job at Target Center over the players’ stance.

“I commend them for it,” Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis Police Federation said, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Lynx acknowledge shooting victims with shirts

The phrase “Change starts with us — Justice Accountability” appears on the front of the shirts, while the back honors Philando Castile, Alton Sterling and the Dallas Police Department.

While Kroll did not know the identities of the four officers, he said they may not be the last to take such a stand.

“Others said they heard about it and they were not going to work Lynx games,” Kroll said.

The four cops who left have taken their names off a list of officers who may work future games.

The black warm-up shirts worn said “Change starts with us — Justice Accountability” on the front and on the back featured the phrase “Black Lives Matter” and the names of Sterling and Castile, who was killed by a suburban St. Paul police officer during a traffic stop.

“If we take this time to see that this is a human issue and speak out together, we can greatly decrease fear and create change,” Moore said prior to Saturday’s game. “Tonight we will be wearing shirts to honor and mourn the losses of precious American citizens and to plead for change in all of us.”

Moore also spoke about the Dallas shooting, in which five police officers were killed, during the nearly five-minute news conference. She praised that city’s effort on leading the way in “de-escalation training and other efforts that led to a noticeable drop in the number of shootings by officers in the last few years.”

When asked by the Star Tribune if other officers will replace those who quit, Kroll said, “If [the players] are going to keep their stance, all officers may refuse to work there.”

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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