Contrary to the Nov. 17 editorial on the indictment issued in the Philando Castile case (“Police accountability: A watershed moment”), the filing of charges against St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez was far from being a “watershed moment.” The situation provided unmistakable documentation of a police stop gone very wrong, something that is absent in most such cases. It’s the other cases that I worry about, where justice is not done because documentation is nonexistent or destroyed.

Leigh Homstad, St. Paul

• • •

What does it take to get a murder charge on a cop? Seven close-range shots — isn’t that enough? We need to put more emphasis on cop-calming and worry less about traffic-calming.

Patrick L. Coleman, Minneapolis


‘Skyway Avoidance Society’ will just shoo away certain people

To see entrepreneur Eric Dayton spending his precious time on getting people to “avoid the skyways” made my heart sink (“The call of the pavement,” Nov. 1). Skyways are godsends for people who cannot afford expensive, warm clothing; for disabled people; for old people who cannot afford to be a “snowbird,” and for all the wonderful small businesses that have taken private and public investments to help their businesses flourish there. Now Dayton wants them to go away. You can be sure these people won’t go into the cold streets. They’ll just stay home. I’m so grateful that when I was Dayton’s age, I was urging the noble causes of civil rights and stopping the unjust war in Vietnam.

Joe Selvaggio, Minneapolis

The writer is chair of the board at MicroGrants.

• • •

Thanks to Eric Dayton et al. for encouraging individuals to get on the streets of our great city. Not only will downtown streets soon be less populated due to the cold, but the disastrous, concurrent, complex and lengthy construction projects at the Hennepin/Lyndale interchange, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and the Nicollet Maul (yes, “maul”) have abetted or directly lead to the closures of numerous businesses that formerly drew patrons to these areas. Dayton’s effort is a wonderful attempt at resuscitating and revitalizing downtown Minneapolis.

Robert Emery, Minneapolis

• • •

Instead of avoiding the skyways, how about avoiding Eric Dayton’s enterprises, the Bachelor Farmer and Askov Finlayson?

Downtown Minneapolis has prospered because of the skyway system. Comparing downtown to the North Loop is unfair, because most people cannot afford the shops in the North Loop. In the skyways, we can always buy groceries, clothes, jewelry, shoes and almost anything we need at a reasonable price, and there are also reasonably priced restaurants on the skyway system.

We’ve lived in downtown Minneapolis for more than 40 years, but we get more exercise than most of our friends in the suburbs, because we can always use the skyways when it is icy, raining, freezing or snowing. Dayton is cited as saying he thinks the city should consider dismantling the skyway system altogether. Why would we get rid of this convenience that benefits so many people?

Roger Raina & Marsha Gille, Minneapolis


Couldn’t that victory case have been made more tactfully?

In response to Dennis Carstens’ Nov. 17 commentary “The liberal elites finally got their walking papers,” I ask you, sir: How does name-calling make America great? Calling someone who is worried about access to birth control a “snowflake” and announcing that “many of us don’t see the world through smug eyes” is not the path to greatness. Many of us are sincerely worried about losing gains that have been made on equal rights, sexism, racism and the environment under a Donald Trump administration. I agree with you that the results of this election are a wake-up call. I am aware of many like-minded folks who are trying to take that call seriously. If we are truly going to make America great, let’s start by listening to one another and stop labeling, denigrating and dismissing the other side’s views.

Karen Berg-Moberg, St. Paul

• • •

My thanks to Carstens. He was able to put into words what maybe half of the people like me who voted for Trump were feeling, especially the part about keeping America strong and not letting it be turned into what Western Europe has evolved into. Now we just need to hold their feet to the fire to accomplish this.

Neal Mason, Maple Grove

• • •

It’s important for Democrats to read Carstens’ commentary. First, every American gets to have their opinion and their vote. And second, we ignore the voices of those with different views at our own peril. We need more listening and less shouting, more NPR and less Daily Kos. Mr. Carstens says Trump supporters deserve a chance to try to make things better. As winners, they will get that chance.

However, that doesn’t mean we should abandon our core principles or let opinions go unchallenged. I believe that many of Carstens’ opinions are not backed up by facts. I’ll just highlight one, where he says in regard to immigration: “And let’s be honest: The only reason Democrats want to continue to allow Latinos preferential treatment is because they see Latinos as future Democratic voters.” I believe most Democrats favor both better border controls and fair and compassionate treatment for the undocumented already among us.

Ironically, on the same day Carstens’ commentary appeared, the Star Tribune published an article about how the teen birthrate is 63 percent higher in rural America than in urban America. By the same logic, would it be fair to say that Republicans don’t want to offer free birth control because they see those births as future Republican voters? Of course not. Both are not serious arguments.

Zol Heyman, Arden Hills

• • •

I spoke with a Muslim customer today. Believe it or not, his children (the son is 6) have already been confronted with anti-Muslim statements at school. One is “you’re going to end up in a camp now.” I have to admit I thought this stuff would start as a lunatic-fringe thing with writing on mosque walls. Not to be. He had to deal with his children saying they didn’t want to go to school. In Minnesota. In Eden Prairie.

Anybody who questions where we are at should hear this story. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should be asked why he can say, “Look, I think it’s time for the election to be over.” It certainly isn’t over for this 6-year-old.

David Southworth, Edina


Selection of DNC chair is an opportunity to ward off exodus

Regarding Steve Timmer’s Nov. 15 commentary “In search of a new DNC chair — Keith Ellison fits”: There is a range of divides between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders’ supporters, from plainly feeling their candidate was best to issues that kept the opposing candidate from being more successful. Whichever side you supported, there is no question that the result of the election showed that the “nonestablishment” candidate is who the majority of the people in this country best felt would represent them in D.C.

To people who think the restructuring of the Democratic National Committee will not influence the 2020 election, I say you are quite wrong. The biggest mistake in Clinton’s campaign was a moment when a conciliatory hand could have been offered to Sanders’ supporters, and wasn’t: the selection of her running mate. The many anti-TPP signs that were confiscated at the Philadelphia convention from Sanders’ supporters should have been the first sign that bringing on Tim Kaine would push them away. These people scattered to the four winds in terms of voting or not voting on Nov. 8. Some are turning back to see if the hand will be offered this time, in allowing Ellison to lead the party instead of Howard Dean. If the wrong choice is made, some may never look back again, and will make their new party (like mine, the Green Party) their permanent home.

Nicole Volk, Waterville, Minn.