Recent crime sprees in Minneapolis make Mayor Jacob Frey and the City Council’s reluctance to add to the city’s police force seem ludicrous.

Earlier this fall, while doing volunteer work in Minneapolis, I had my bike stolen. It was my own fault because I had left the bike unattended for five minutes. I filed a police report but knew my chances for recovery were slim. When a substantive lead arose, I called the police and left a message to alert them.

While I was disappointed that my call wasn’t returned, I was not surprised. After all, the police are overwhelmed. Gangs of thugs freely roam the city and the police have their hands full. News reports of these thugs beating up innocent people as they walk on Hennepin Avenue or as they sit outside the Twins stadium only underscore the police force’s overwhelming challenge. The recent killing of the 75-year-old bus commuter is, sadly, an example of more of the same thuggery that exists (“Metro Transit bus passenger dies after attack; murder charge filed,” Nov. 13).

While Mayor Frey doesn’t seem to have the city’s safekeeping at heart, residents can at least be glad that the mayor took the time to enact a civilian-only dress code for the police who attended President Donald Trump’s rally. The mayor’s focus on “inclusion” is occurring at the expense of law-abiding citizens who are then excluded from enjoying a safe stay in Minneapolis.

Mark P. Kelliher, Arden Hills

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I was saddened by the story of the elderly man who was beaten to death after asking several young men to quiet down on a city bus.

I often ride the 5 bus and regularly experience loud, obnoxious and profane behavior. It is shameful that people, including children, have to tolerate this behavior in order to utilize public transportation. I encourage the Star Tribune and other news outlets to investigate and publish what has become of our public transportation.

I have never seen a transit cop on a bus. Hopefully illuminating this situation will help to rectify that.

Steve Durant, Minneapolis


Get it together, Democrats

I am dismayed by the weak response of Democrats to the GOP’s outrageous arguments and conspiracy theories used in, and after, the first impeachment hearings. With few exceptions, Dems have failed to call out B.S. in a clear and forceful way. As a result, the GOP was allowed to accomplish its primary goal of the hearings — providing sound bites to “Trump TV.” One of the GOP’s primary arguments has been a “he said, she said” hearsay defense. The Dems have been countering this by pointing out that the administration has been obstructing witnesses with direct knowledge. But while true, this defense actually reinforces the hearsay argument. Instead, the response should be a resounding, “He said, she said — guilty! More than a dozen corroborating witnesses, European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland’s testimony, and the president’s own released transcript constitute an overwhelming preponderance of evidence even without hearing from obstructed witnesses.”

The Dems also seem to be proud of the calmness and decorum with which they are conducting the hearings. This is the most egregious violation of the constitution by an American president in history. What is called for is not decorum but outrage! I’m speaking of Jon Stewart-style outrage in his testimony to Congress on the withholding of funds for 9/11 first responders. Or perhaps, more germane, the “Have you left no sense of decency?” line from the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings.

I would claim that the damage to all democracy is far worse now than it was in 1954. Ironically, the GOP is defending a president who appears to be conspiring with a Russian threat to our democracy far in excess to what McCarthy and his cohorts were so obsessed with in the 1950s.

Steven M. Pine, Hopkins

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If the whistleblower had not come forward, Ambassador William Taylor’s worst nightmare likely would have come to pass.

Taylor testified the nightmare scenario would be Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky making a public pronouncement that Ukraine was going to investigate the Bidens. This would put Zelensky in a “public box,” which Sondland had said President Donald Trump desired.

The July 25th call shows Zelensky willing to do Trump’s favor. Sondland’s call to Trump the following day assured Trump that Ukraine was “ready to move forward.”

To announce the investigations, Zelensky scheduled a September interview with CNN in its New York studios.

Taylor said that after putting himself in this public box, his “nightmare” was that Zelensky would be getting “heat” from both the Americans and the Ukrainian people at home, and Trump would decide not to release the military aid. “[With] the Russians loving it,” Taylor said. (By allowing the Sept. 30 deadline on the aid to expire, and without another act of Congress, there would be no military aid going to Ukraine. It would be unable to defend itself from further Russian aggression.)

Trump would follow the same script he did with the snap-betrayal of the Kurds. Now, the Ukrainians would be the bad people. Again, Putin would win.

I ask Republicans, do Americans have to wait for Trump to be charged with treason? Isn’t bribery enough to end this corruption?

Carl Lee, Minnetonka

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In a letter to the editor published Nov. 15, a writer suggested that when State Department official George Kent and Ambassador Taylor paused and declined to answer a question from U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas — “Are either of you here today to assert there was an impeachable offense in that call?” — that their silence was “deafening” and their response that they weren’t there “to decide about impeachment” was “lame.”

I view this somewhat differently. I believe they wisely refused to be drawn in by a question designed to bait them into acting as judges, rather than testifying to facts, so they could later be dismissed as not being impartial witnesses. Nice try, Rep. Ratcliffe.

Bill Kaemmerer, Edina


Where, oh where should it be?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been losing sleep thinking about where the 45th president of the United States will host the next G-7 Summit. Camp David could work, but that’s where former President Barack Obama hosted the conference. As we know by now, anything accomplished by the Obama tenure is forbidden by the current president.

It has to be someplace warm, have high security and, if possible, showcase American leadership.

The answer arrived in Nov. 14’s paper: The ideal conference site would be the migrant detention camps on our southern border! (“Trump officials knew migrant kids would languish,” Nov. 14.) The security is the best — fences as far as the eye can see! The weather is warm, the food is, well, food, and if we move out the children held in detention, there are plenty of beds and blankets! Why not show the work of a very stable genius to the economic leaders of the world?

But where to house those children held in detention? Reunite them with their parents? If not, I hear there’s a vacancy at Trump Doral in Florida.

Paul Hager, Northfield, Minn.

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