A Minneapolis police lieutenant faces an internal investigation into recent comments that fellow officers say implied that U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison is a terrorist.

The comments allegedly were made during a required police ethics training class this week by Lt. Bob Kroll, according to Mayor R.T. Rybak. In a highly unusual move, Chief Tim Dolan sent an e-mail to all employees saying the comments were unacceptable and unflattering to the department. Dolan also issued a public apology to Ellison, a Democrat from Minneapolis and the first Muslim elected to Congress.

Kroll, an officer with Minneapolis for 18 years and vice president of the Police Federation, denied Thursday that he called Ellison a terrorist or that he even mentioned him by name during the class. Kroll will remain on duty during the internal investigation.

He said he’d be “a little smarter than that” — than to make such comments with his boss and the deputy chief of professional standards in the room.

Rybak said the comments are “shockingly ignorant” if it’s true Kroll made them.

On Thursday, Ellison said: “The alleged comments don’t reflect the diversity of our city, or the warm embracing attitudes of those who live in the Fifth District. I’m grateful to Mayor Rybak and Chief Dolan for setting the right tone. The alleged comments don’t reflect the Minneapolis Police Department, who I respect as well.”


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