The Star Tribune should be ashamed of itself for comparing the videotaped assault of a Brooklyn Park police officer to the shooting death of Jamar Clark by a police officer last year in Minneapolis (“Video shows officer’s fight for life”).
Clark didn’t assault a police officer. He was shot in the head while lying on the ground. An officer involved in the incident alleges that Clark’s hand was touching his holstered gun at the time Clark was shot. This has been disputed by witnesses.
To state that Clark’s interaction with the Minneapolis police officer was “similar” to an extremely violent assault during which a man shouted “[Expletive] kill you!” while repeatedly punching, elbowing and choking the Brooklyn Park police officer is irresponsible and biased journalism.
Another difference: Despite the terrifying videotaped assault, during which the officer was knocked to the ground and had his gun knocked away from him — and despite the officer, justifiably in fear for his life, shouting “Shoot him!” as his backup arrived — the suspect in the video was tasered and subdued. Jamar Clark is dead.
Rowan Viva, Minneapolis
His inability to work smoothly with Democratic Party is telling
Yes, let’s get the facts straight on what happened during the state convention in Nevada (“Editorial shows how media fails us,” Readers Write, May 20, referring to “Sanders must quell campaign violence,” May 19). PolitiFact, which is about as objective a source that we have, had people there and looked into all the claims of unfairness and determined that they were false. The 62 delegates were not seated because they did not follow the established rules, period. It was not a conspiracy. They had either failed to register as Democrats by May 1 or would not provide address and telephone.
The rules, according to PolitiFact, were not manipulated, either. Whether or not chairs were thrown, there are documented death threats against the chair of the convention. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ response has been tepid. He no longer seems to be leading his movement. He is now following an out-of-control “movement.” Many people want change, but just because not everyone agrees with you about how to achieve it does not make anyone “intransigent.” Change takes time and work in a pluralistic democracy. If Sanders cannot even build a coalition with Democrats, then how on Earth could he govern?
Alice Johnson, Minneapolis
• • •
In response to Norman Sherman’s May 20 commentary “Lessons from ’68: Sanders needs to put snide aside,” and his assertion that Eugene McCarthy’s support would have ensured Hubert Humphrey’s election in 1968: He fails to mention a few other key variables. Humphrey remained connected to President Lyndon Johnson for too long; of nearly 73 million votes cast, George Wallace won nearly 10 million (13.5 percent), and 39 percent of voters never showed up at the polls.
Erik Scheurle, Minneapolis
PAID SICK LEAVE
Consider this issue in the context of another: Our schools
Minnesota, a great state to live in? Both sides make emotional pleas regarding the paid sick-leave debate. This needs to be looked into to see how it would affect our state, our families and, from my point of view, our schools and communities. As a retired teacher of 33 years in the suburb of Inver Grove Heights, I feel you need to hear this. My most difficult job was to reach, teach and inspire our children to do their homework and learn in school. However, when a single parent is working two jobs to put food on the table, it makes a teacher’s job very difficult, if not impossible.
Don’t feel sorry for the teachers. Imagine you are a child of a parent in this situation. So, if you can see the child’s, teacher’s and school’s point of view, let’s make life better for all of these by providing paid sick leave for the workers. Minnesota needs to stand up for them and show the country that we deserve the reputation that Minnesota is a great state to live in.
Robin L. Eggum, Inver Grove Heights
LIGHT RAIL AND SALES TAXES
If this idea still survives, woe to those with lower incomes
The sales tax is one of the most unfair taxes (“Sales tax increase is sought to pay for light rail,” May 20). Low-income and most middle-income families spend all of their income to live day to day. Hence, they pay a much larger percentage of their income toward sales tax than do the wealthy. That disparity is huge and unfair.
Don Eisenschenk, Minnetonka
Historic funding agreement ensures vitality for generations
Wednesday was a historic day for Minneapolis. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board unanimously approved a 20-year neighborhood parks funding agreement negotiated with the city. Together, these concurrent ordinances will ensure that we remain a “city of parks” for future generations.
The agreement secures an additional $11 million for parks annually for the next 20 years to be invested in long-term maintenance needs in our neighborhood parks. The agreement includes $3 million annually dedicated to operations so that our parks remain well-kept and maintained.
This agreement met the priorities of a broad coalition of Minneapolis citizens and groups, including the Minneapolis Parks Foundation, to secure long-term sustainable funding for neighborhood parks.
In a time when acrimony captures the headlines and gridlock has become the status quo, true governmental collaboration goes unheralded. Yet, as in our day-to-day lives, parks have the power to bring people together. The Minneapolis City Council and Minneapolis Park Board showed us how good government works. We commend the leaders and staff of both. Thanks to this landmark cooperative process, Minneapolis will continue to invest in the nation’s best park system and ensure that no matter where you live in this city, you will have a vital and vibrant neighborhood park nearby.
Tom Evers and Sarah Harris
The writers, respectively, are executive director and chair of the board of directors for the Minneapolis Parks Foundation.
Fans need a pick-me-up
Here’s a thought: The Twins play the Saints at the new CHS Field. Saints get home-field advantage; Twins get to play in front of a sold-out crowd. Fans actually get to have “fun at the ballpark.”
If it works, the Lynx and the Timberwolves?
Lenora Kubasch, Winsted, Minn.