We all have our memories from 9/11. For me I remember crying for days, glued to the TV, unable to tear myself away. All I could do was think about my police officer brothers and the fact that so many families and sisters just like me were mourning the loss of their police officers who ran into those towers never to return. I was crushed in an indescribable way. But the country rallied and police were rightly recognized as our heroes. And the profession walked tall despite the grief they felt over losing their own.
Tonight I cry again for my brothers and our country. It’s so wrong and shouldn’t be this way! How can police now be the country’s villains? It makes me sad, frustrated, angry and feeling helpless trying to scream with my voice not heard. Stop vilifying our heroes! Stop inflicting such mental pain; they endure enough. To all my law enforcement friends, walk tall. Walk really tall! The silent majority respects you as much if not more than ever. We are sad for you, we hurt for you and we respect you. We appreciate you more than you know. We will never forget.
Caryn Addante, Mendota Heights
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A recent letter writer chastises journalists for not seeking to determine why so many Black men are being shot by police (“What happened to digging deeper?” Readers Write, Sept. 10). He implies that these shootings might be explained by things such as Black-on-Black crime. Black-on-Black crime is a problem that deserves analysis, but it is separate from police shooting Black men. As the writer is a former police officer, I doubt that he would not arrest Person A for shooting Person B because Person C shot Person D. Both instances are wrong and need to be addressed independent of each other.
Determining if systematic racism exists in a police department cannot be determined by analyzing why Black men shoot other Black men. The writer appears to have adopted President Donald Trump’s routine of “don’t look at what I did wrong, look at what someone else did wrong.” That approach doesn’t solve either problem.
Phil Anderson, Burnsville
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Brian Peters, executive director of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, expressed deep frustration over DFL support for candidate John Thompson because of Thompson’s obnoxious actions in front of the home of Minneapolis Police Federation President Bob Kroll (“Police group reverses backing of several DFL incumbents,” Sept. 11). Mr. Peters: Rational people around the world are deeply frustrated by the inability of police officers to refrain from engaging in police brutality. You, your association and its members can stop police brutality today. You don’t need legislation to do so; you don’t need policies to do so. You simply need common human decency.
We are frustrated by police officers’ failure to exercise common human decency in refraining from engaging in police brutality and in refraining from turning in those officers that are witnessed engaging in police brutality. When you clean up your own house and end police brutality — especially as it relates to Black Americans — you can begin to complain about the stupid comments of a candidate for office. In the grand scheme of things, police brutality, which can be criminal, is a much more serious issue than stupid comments, which are not a crime. It is time for police officers to get their priorities straight.
JOHN ELLENBECKER, St. Cloud, Minn.
TRUMP AND THE VIRUS
I haven’t felt calm. Have you?
It is of course impossible to credit President Donald Trump’s explanation du jour that he withheld the truth about COVID-19 from Americans so as to, in the exercise of Churchillian prudence, “avoid panic.” His entire political career has been predicated upon instilling unreasonable fear in the populace. Some have concluded that he withheld the truth so as to avoid spooking the stock market.
Permit me to suggest a different possible motive. I believe that Trump really did hear the warning of his national security adviser on Jan. 28 and took it seriously, but unlike Winston Churchill he lacked the humility to acknowledge that the dangers posed by the virus were beyond his capacity to control. Churchill told his people that the battle would be difficult and the outcome uncertain, but they were all in it together. I believe that Trump is so wedded to the narrative that “I alone can fix it” that he cannot publicly acknowledge the scope of our common danger.
Michael Ormond, Golden Valley
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It was Trump’s chance of a lifetime to be a real hero. He could have said it was serious. He could have said we must work together, that it would take us working together for one great cause: to save as many lives as possible. He could have said we must listen to the scientists who have been studying this for years, that we must gather protective equipment quickly and distribute it fairly and wear masks, wash hands, shut down, stay isolated with no large crowds. Early. In March. He could have said we must take care of each other, care for each other, that we could do this together because we are Americans. He could have been the great uniter rather than the great divider. If only he had cared ... for us.
Andrea Nelson, Mound
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The list of who is at fault for not telling the American people the truth about COVID-19 back in February is a little short. Trump knew. He told Bob Woodward. But who told Trump and who else was present for that briefing (Republicans, Democrats, White House advisers)? And who else did Trump tell — maybe someone at Fox? Trump, as president, is ultimately responsible to the people for his inaction, but it seems there would be a lot more people who were along for the ride and remained silent.
Helen Henly, Minneapolis
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To sum up the news: The president of the United States has now admitted on tape that he blatantly, repeatedly lied to the American people about the severity of the coronavirus, and we have a senior homeland security official saying he was ordered to lie about the extent of Russia’s interference in the current 2020 election. (“Whistleblower: Russia, white supremacist threats downplayed,” front page, Sept. 10.) I expected to open up the paper this morning and see a call for the president to resign. Seriously, what is it going to take?
James Johnson, Lauderdale
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Escaping much attention in Trump’s interviews with Woodward is Trump’s admission on Feb. 7 that he discussed the virus and its severity and how it spreads with Chinese President Xi Jinping. He even reflected on how Xi could be able to control it.
This completely lays waste to the president’s argument that his miserable response to the pandemic is the fault of China withholding information about the virus. That was just the latest of Trump’s scapegoats, following the media, Democratic governors, Democrats in Congress, federal inspectors general, the World Health Organization, President Barack Obama ...
Now we know the truth, from Trump’s own lips, that China did not withhold information he needed to take the virus seriously. He consciously chose not to.
David Hansen, Faribault
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The president no longer needs to hide the seriousness and dangers of COVID from the American people. He doesn’t need to be concerned about creating widespread panic any longer. He can finally confront the virus outright. What is his plan to contain the virus? I expect he will support wearing masks and increase production of personal protective equipment and testing so fewer Americans will die or contract the virus and so we can open our economy sooner. Or will he?
Michael Herman, Chisago City, Minn.
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