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The Minnesota Department of Human Rights finds that the Minneapolis Police Department has engaged in a pattern of racial discrimination over the past decade (“A Pattern of Racism in the MPD,” front page, April 28) . Mayor Jacob Frey calls the findings “disgusting, sometimes horrific” and goes on to say that “this time it has to be different”. Apparently all the other “times” weren’t awful enough. The report reveals that former MPD chief Medaria Arradondo had “at least” 65 full disciplinary files on his desk awaiting review when the HRD began its investigation in June 2020. The Star Tribune editorial board says the “damning” report, but nowhere in the editorial. he recalls the role that the mayor and the leader played in the sick and racist culture that was able to thrive for many, many years.
I am indeed disgusted and horrified but unfortunately not surprised by the conclusions of the HRD. Does the mayor, MPD leadership and editorial board now understand why myself and so many of my fellow Minneapoliites voted “yes” on Amendment 2 in 2021 to replace the MPD with a Department of Public Safety and voted “no” on the re-election of Mayor Frei? I have Nope trust this mayor, the current leadership of the MPD and the Minneapolis Police Union. We needed a fresh start, but we didn’t get it. To my black sisters and brothers, I don’t even know what to say.
Rebecca H. Hamblin, Minneapolis
Thus, the state report found racism in the MPD. Is this a surprise given that the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, which conducted the investigation, is headed by Rebecca Lucero? She’s a protege of Keith Ellison, our leftist attorney general. Her biography on the Minnesota government website states that “she strives to live her life with an intersectional lens, honoring complex identities.” For a man of limited mind like me, this puzzles me, but once again strengthens the political party she identifies with.
Citizens and government officials in Minneapolis must decide if they want a police force with officers more like Pee-wee Herman or Dirty Harry. If Minneapolitans continue to lean towards Herman, crime will continue to run rampant and good people of all races will be among the victims. The city will continue on a downward slope, becoming a dump. So people of Minneapolis, go ahead and make my day better. Change your attitude towards the police.
Loras J. Holmberg, Plymouth
The Minnesota Department of Human Rights just completed a two-year study to determine if there was racial bias within the MPD. They concluded that there were.
One stat I’d like to see that would shed considerable light on the topic of crime in Minneapolis and the resulting police response is what race was the person(s) who committed each of these crimes: 1) carjacking, 2 ) assault and 3) robbery. (I would include murder on this list, but most of the time the victim is unable to pass this information on to another person.) The answer to the question of who committed these three crimes should come from the victims’ mouths. of the crime, most likely appearing in the police report, or otherwise, by contacting the victim of the crime and asking them this question.
Then government officials, those pushing for police department reform, and the public will have a pretty good idea of who is committing these crimes. And if we know this, we will also know if the police focused precisely on the right place. If they did, it drastically changes the picture some people are now trying to paint. What percentage of these crimes are committed by different races in Minneapolis? And how do these percentages compare to their proportion in the population? That is the question, and it was likely unknowingly raised by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights while conducting and reporting on this topic.
Curtis Dahlin, Roseville
HELPING THOSE IN NEED
In 2020, the Star Tribune published an article titled “Minnesota welfare benefits to increase for first time since 1986”. I appreciate the attention to the lack of funding increases that the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) has seen.
It is now 2022, and I would like to highlight several other notable funding issues facing MFIP that are currently affecting a significant number of Minnesota residents. First, the MFIP has made no significant progress in reducing poverty in Minnesota, only eliminating extreme poverty. This is alarming, given that one of the main objectives of the MFIP is to create financial stability in families. Additionally, based on current employment/education hour requirements, the MFIP has the ability to push families further into poverty when dismissal or penalties are needed. The MFIP also has a confusing asset limit of $10,000, which can easily be just one car for a family, again making it difficult for them to reach a goal of financial stability if participants are not in able to own the necessary assets such as transport. Finally, the MFIP has a significant problem with the employment options available, many of which are minimum wage or part-time. The latter does not support single-parent or two-parent families in setting up financial assistance.
I would like to encourage any reader of this message to reach out to their legislator to advocate for higher wages for low-income people and improved access to higher education in order to get back on track. financial stability.
I had the pleasure of reading “The Gift of Food from the Homes They Left Behind” in the April 7 newspaper. This article educated the public on the relevant concept of providing culturally appropriate items in food assistance programs.
I am a graduate student in social work, and the importance of serving individuals with dignity and respect has been repeated time and again over the past five years of my studies. I blindly assumed that the work of food distribution programs was ethically sound. It wasn’t until I spent an entire semester studying food insecurity in Minnesota and the rest of the United States that I recognized the areas where food assistance programs are failing to provide culturally appropriate services.
Across our state, many cultural communities turn to food banks to meet their dietary needs. However, a considerable number of these programs are designed to serve only foods based on American culture and eating habits.
Food is an important part of its culture. Food is not only used as a means to support the mind and body, but is incorporated into traditions and celebrations. Just because a person lives in poverty does not mean that their cultural practices should be sacrificed. By not providing culturally appropriate food options in our food programs, we are somehow asking culturally diverse Minnesota neighbors to assimilate into American culture. By incorporating diverse and culturally appropriate food options, we can better serve our neighbors with dignity and respect.
Katelin Wood, Eagan
REPRESENTING. JOHN THOMPSON
While I applaud the Star Tribune op-ed about State Rep. John Thompson, who argued he should retire to allow his district more effective representation (“Legislator clashed with law . Again,” April 29), he failed to report that Democratic House District 67A delegates did not endorse Thompson in this race (they did in 2020) and gave their endorsement to Liz Lee. As a former congressman and Ivy League graduate, Lee appears to have all the credentials to provide the effective and accountable representation that Thompson currently lacks.
I hope voters will follow the lead of local Democrats and support and vote for Lee in this mostly safe Democratic district instead of the train wreck that was John Thompson.
William Cory Labovitch, South St. Paul