It’s about time to let the police and other agencies do their job in investigating the shooting of Jamar Clark. The police have better things to do than guarding the Fourth Precinct and keeping roads around there open — like preventing ISIL from attacking our city.

We don’t want to see the North Side going up in smoke like we saw in Ferguson, Mo. Let’s get credible witnesses to come forward to tell the actual story. Part of the reason the officer in Ferguson was not convicted was because there were too many conflicting stories. We are getting that now. If this shooting was not justified, let the courts deal with it.

Time also for everyone to admit that Jamar was no saint. If previous robbery and assault and impeding paramedics makes him a good person, what is a person with a clean record?

To avoid being shot by the police, obey the law and don’t get into a conflict with an officer. Simple as that.

Jerome Sturgeleski, Minneapolis

• • •

As I sort through the few known details surrounding the shooting of Clark, one that haunts me is the fate of the woman who was being tended to by the paramedics who called for police. She was the first victim in this tragic situation. What happened to her, and who is concerned about her rights and welfare?

Patricia Cavanaugh, St. Paul

• • •

If a woman was injured, I hope she is being cared for and supported. After Clark’s arrest, he should have been offered support and a chance to heal. As a society, that should be our goal: healing and redemption.

Instead, Clark was killed. We have all seen rioting white college students be apprehended without bodily harm. Certainly, police officers can arrest unarmed suspects without killing them.

That is what people are asking for — that the police arrest people without terrorizing and murdering them. Instead the sorrow and mistrust of citizens is met with a militarized police force against peaceful (peaceful can be angry) protesters.

To those saying “obey the law and nothing bad will happen to you”: We do not live in a society where you can be summarily executed by police. Jamar Clark didn’t need to be an angel for his life to matter. He was a human; he was somebody’s child. We cannot turn our backs on troubled men and women and say that their deaths are justified because they were not perfect. That is how we lose our humanity.

Ellen Hinchcliffe, Minneapolis

• • •

Regarding the demand by protesters for the release of information by authorities regarding the Clark shooting, there is a process that needs to be followed in these cases that precludes this from happening until a full and complete investigation and review of the facts has been completed. Releasing too much information too soon jeopardizes the accuracy and veracity of the process. We need to be patient. Stop being paranoid and stop believing the worst about what the authorities are doing. Give the process time to work itself out.

Michael Ireland, Chanhassen

 

SYRIAN REFUGEES

This country has done so little to help, and now wants to do less

The actions and statements recently by the Republican presidential candidates and the GOP-led House of Representatives regarding Syrian refugees are truly shameful (“House approves GOP bill curbing Syrian and Iraqi refugees, despite Obama veto threat,” StarTribune.com, Nov. 19).

The fact is that while European countries are struggling mightily to deal with a refugee crisis, the U.S. has done next to nothing. Over the past two years, this country has accepted about 2,000 Syrian refugees. Sweden, with a population the size of the metropolitan area of Chicago, this year alone has accepted 70,000.

President Obama’s proposed plan to accept 10,000 really would not change anything. With a waiting period that can take 24 months, are we expecting refugees desperately fleeing for their lives to sit tight for two years in a war zone and wait for the paperwork to come through? They will continue to see neighboring countries and Europe as their only option and ignore the U.S.

The world already knows that the U.S. has no serious intent to help out with the refugee crisis. We could at the very least stop embarrassing ourselves further with actions that stoke Islamophobia for short-term political gains or statements such as calls for the secretary of homeland security to personally vouch for each refugee, or that we only should accept Christian refugees or that even 5-year-old refugees pose a security risk.

Olle Lindqvist, St. Louis Park

• • •

We would like to offer a suggestion about helping the refugees at almost no risk to our country.

1) Only admit families.

2) After vetting, they must agree to serve two-and-a-half years in one branch of our military.

3) The first six months would be devoted to learning English and also learning about the U.S. and what we stand for.

4) Five years after their military service is completed, they will be allowed to apply for citizenship if they have a job and have shown exemplary behavior during that time.

5) After the refugees’ tours of duty, each Minnesota community would be given an opportunity to sponsor one of these families if they have a church in their city that the family would be able to attend.

We believe that after this vetting and time in the military, the risk that refugees still may be a threat to our country would be near zero.

David and Sherie Lammers, Pipestone, Minn.

 

MINNESOTANS’ ATTITUDES

Backlash against family after Habitat story was disappointing

My heart goes out to Abdi Mohamed and his family after reading his Nov. 12 letter to the editor (“Oh, how inhospitable”) about the hateful responses to a previous article about his family’s move into a Habitat for Humanity home. I was deeply moved when I first read the story of their new house, both by the difference it has made in their lives and by the many Minnesotans — including the Mohameds — who worked together to make this happen. It made me feel proud that we are a state that sees the best of us reflected in its cultural diversity.

Dear Abdi, Sarah, Jamal and Sofia: Please know that those hateful comments you received do not speak for the majority. I’m saddened and ashamed. Please do not lose faith. You have so much to offer — not only as Minnesotans but as citizens of a nation that still has much to learn. We need your light. Keep letting it shine.

Diane Amer, Roseville

• • •

I was distressed to read that there were many negative and inhospitable responses to Abdi Mohamed and Sarah Olson as participants in and beneficiaries of Habitat For Humanity. As a lifelong and multigenerational resident of the Twin Cities, I do not feel as the writers Mohamed cited in his letter, but have assisted the struggling and have welcomed immigrants and refugees. I have no doubt that most Twin Citians are pleased to welcome this couple to homeownership.

It was clear that the negative remarks come from a point of fear and misunderstanding. For example, Habitat For Humanity housing is not free or even close to it. Participants have to be employed. Habitat does provide a low-rate mortgage, but it is still a mortgage. Participants also have to provide labor to the program. Habitat can’t serve everyone, but, as the article points out, it is very successful at helping struggling families enter the world of housing stability.

Chuck Griggs, Eagan