Brooklyn Center mayor is a superstar
Well done for your front page article on Mike Elliott (“Brooklyn Center Sets New Threshold for Arrests,” September 29). The mayor of Brooklyn Center is a superstar. Nothing can erase the tragedy of Daunte Wright’s needless death, but Elliott shows us how to begin to heal. Look what he’s done so far: Hours after Wright was shot on April 11, the mayor ordered the team’s body camera and videotape released. The next day, he fired the city manager for lax police oversight, then accepted the resignations of the implicated officer and his leader. As tensions escalated, he ordered Brooklyn Center police to stop firing provocative flash bangs and tear gas at protesters. When agents from other jurisdictions continued these confrontational measures, he also worked with their supervisors to defuse the escalation. He even moved families and children from nearby apartments to hotels until the tear gas cleared. Now he begins to tackle the fundamental problems with de-escalation and fundamental solutions. The mayor of my beloved Minneapolis could learn from this man and the city council working closely with him. Mike Elliott is a hero.
Charles Underwood, Minneapolis
Regarding the Brooklyn Center proposal on the use of “unarmed civilians” for traffic checks. Can this be fleshed out? Will it be a cadre of trained civilians such as housekeepers, traffic officers or school crossing guards? Would that open the door to a growing number of vigilantes? Would they be on foot or on foot? Would they have uniforms? Please keep us informed of the plan and its deployment.
Mary K. Lund, Minnetonka
CITY QUESTION 2
No idea? Here is who does not have a plan.
To keep my neighborhood and everyone else safe, we must look beyond the status quo. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, the Star Tribune Editorial Board and Police Union-funded political groups are desperate to tell us the status quo is enough, but they have no plan to address the many flaws of our public safety system. City Question 2 is the only plan to create a public safety department in Minneapolis.
When I call 911, I don’t want to worry about the armed response I’m going to get. What my community needs are social workers and housing experts to help homeless people find a place to live; mental health and addiction specialists to help people in crisis; de-escalation experts trained to resolve noise complaints or domestic conflicts, and armed police to resolve violent or dangerous situations, to keep people safe.
Jeanne Lakso, Minneapolis
10TH DISTRICT, MINNEAPOLIS
More credentials from Gibson
Thank you for the September 29 article on “Fresh Faces” in the 10th District of Minneapolis. I think it would be helpful for readers and voters to know that in addition to being a stay-at-home mom, Alicia Gibson is also a neighborhood activist; a lawyer trained in Indian environmental and federal law, conflict resolution and restorative justice; a former adjunct professor with his doctorate in comparative literature who taught critical thinking at the University of Minnesota; and a former small business owner and founder of a small business association. Although there was no approval in the DFL caucus, Gibson was a good second with 191 delegates; the rest of the candidates received unique numbers. She is the only candidate to have lived in four of the neighborhood’s five neighborhoods, first as a student tenant and now as a landlord.
Mary Hartnett, Minneapolis
The writer is Alicia Gibson’s campaign manager.
LAC STREET EAST
More coverage, please
Almost a year and a half after the riots, there is still little improvement along East Lake Street in Minneapolis. Vacant lots, damaged buildings that haven’t been taken care of, and a general lack of restaurants and stores where we shop. The Star Tribune devoted little coverage to updating information regarding the Third Quarter, Post Office, Walgreens and the empty lots where the Lakeside Town Talk once stood and the 27th and other buildings. along 27th Avenue South. What about the East Lake Hennepin Health Care Clinic? What about the boarded up O’Reilly Auto Parts building?
There has been some progress – Cub Foods, Aldi’s, and Target are open, and a chicken restaurant is being built where Arby’s once stood. US Bank is working on the small branch at 36th and Lake Street. Wells Fargo wisely moved and reopened in the Mall on the 27th next to Aldi. Wendy’s has been rebuilt and is open as well. But there is still a significant void around this area, and the newspaper has done a poor job of keeping us informed.
Barry Margolis, Minneapolis
There is one more wrench in the abortion debate: recognizing that the essence of human life is not limited to physical viability, but includes our beliefs and long-standing commitments to the existence of l ‘human soul (“Balancing Life and Privacy,” Readers write, September 26).
One writer tries to simplify the issue of abortion when he says, “The concept remains the same. This is the only constant. Human life begins. Or is human existence really created when a soul assumes its long-term commitment to the physical body? This moment, when a soul settles in the body, is indeterminate, but would this writer and others claim that a human soul stands ready to overlap as soon as the female egg is fertilized?
Since there is no follow-up to the arrival of the human soul, scientists, theologians, life advocates, and even choice advocates avoid “the soul question.” Left out of the debate on abortion, it remains the great unknown unknown to human existence. This seems to qualify it as transformational in the national debate. If, as many of us believe, the soul is our human essence, then including it in the discussions should help shift the debate from right and wrong to righteous positions of respectful inquiry and uncertainty. .
Fighting again with this great stranger could shorten the rift and calm the heated debate.
Steven E. Watson, Minneapolis
Continue the punishment
The news that all restrictions on John Hinckley Jr. have been lifted by a federal judge is both disheartening and alarming (“Future assassin Hinckley wins freedom,” September 28), as is last month’s recommendation for the release of Sirhan Sirhan by a California parole board.
Violent crimes, especially those with collateral victims, deserve severe penalties. Crimes directed against elected leaders and political figures deserve extraordinary punishment because they constitute an attack and a front against democracy itself. These are crimes of which we are all victims, regardless of our political beliefs.
At a time when one of our major political parties has recognized, and even aided and abetted, political violence to the extent of an attempted coup, it is disturbing to see Hinckley freed.
Dave Hoenack, Minneapolis