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Continued: Readers Write: (Aug. 29 ): Syria, police, eminent domain, equal pay

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  • Last update: August 28, 2013 - 10:22 PM

1)  Discipline recommendations require investigation of the incident, but even with subpoena power, it is impossible for any CRA to get department cooperation necessary for a thorough investigation.

2)  As public employees, cops are entitled to the protection of civil-service regulations, which also make CRA-driven discipline impossible.

3)  And most important: It never works — not in Minneapolis, and our research at the time suggested not anywhere else, either.

Our report was not the same as throwing in the towel. I continue to believe that a redesigned CRA can contribute to a solution by recommending changes to department policy and procedure based on the study of troubling incidents.

John K. Trepp, Minneapolis

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It isn’t right, no matter how you slice it

The Aug. 23 article “Eminent domain in decline” suggested that 2006 legislation reforming Minnesota’s eminent-domain laws was a bad thing because it is now impossible for private companies, like Best Buy, to persuade cities to use the practice to take land as Richfield did for the company’s headquarters in 2000.

But the article failed to address why it is proper for the government to take one person’s private property and give it to another private entity in the first place.

Not only do such takings destroy property rights and undermine the basis for real economic growth, but often developers abandon the taken property. This was the case in New London, Conn., where a historic neighborhood was torn down so a private developer could build a suburban complex for Pfizer, as well as in New Brighton, Minn., where the Northwest Quadrant has not realized the promises of city planners and private developers.

And while corporations are the beneficiaries, use of eminent domain for private-to-private transfers disproportionately affects poor, minority and other politically powerless populations.

By enacting the 2006 reform, which forbids private-to-private transfers, Minnesota legislators voted against using public power for private gain.

Katelynn McBride, Minneapolis


The writer is an attorney for the Institute for Justice.

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