Policing is tough work, but we expect better
To restore public trust in the Minneapolis Police Department, chief Janeé Harteau has promised to open up a dialogue with community leaders (“Chief pledges dialogue on race,” Aug. 3). That is a predictable, and necessary, response to the most recent episodes of police misconduct. She also needs to have some serious conversations with her fellow cops, from whose ranks she rose to the position of chief. When all is said and done, it is their actions in dealing with the public, both on- and off-duty, that build, or undermine, citizens’ confidence and respect.
DAVID AQUILINA, Minneapolis
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I have a hard time accepting and understanding the intolerance of police officers. The Minneapolis department is an example. It seems that over the years behavior against minorities has verged on the brutal, both verbally and physically.
The same refrain is usually uttered almost immediately after an incident by the police chief, the mayor and, occasionally, the police union: “There is no place for racist or bigoted officers.” Until the next incident arises.
No one would deny that being a police officer is not easy. Heat-of-the-moment incidents can give rise to this behavior. But those men and women who want these jobs must be ready and able to cope with that. And those who do the hiring should develop the techniques necessary to weed out those who are unfit.
PETER LOPEZ JR., Stillwater
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I’m glad there are people who want to be a Minneapolis cop and who can qualify to do the job. We need them, and it’s not a job I’d want, or be able to do, myself.
In professional sports such as hockey, it’s common for a team to have an “enforcer” on the squad — a bully whose unofficial job is to keep the other guys honest.
Given the seemingly intractable problems with a few off-duty Minneapolis cops, is it possible that some in our town are comfortable with having a few thumpers in the lineup just to help maintain order?
JOHN A. HOLMQUIST, Minneapolis
Don’t get the wrong idea about nearby shop
Unfortunately, on July 29 a young man was shot and killed on the sidewalk near my Minneapolis barber shop (“Minneapolis shooting victim is Richfield man,” Aug. 4). Although the shop was closed at the time and, of course, the shooting had nothing to do with my business, I spent considerable time answering questions from the police and the media.
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