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Lately, some advocacy groups have been asking what we can do to “reduce the use of force by police.” Well …

1) Don’t be a thug and lead a life of crime so that you come into frequent contact with police.

2) Don’t rob people, don’t use or sell drugs, and don’t beat up your significant other.

3) Don’t hang out on the street after 2 a.m. Go home.

4) Don’t make furtive movements or keep your hands in your pockets if told to take them out.

5) Don’t flap your jaws when the police arrive. Don’t disobey the requests of the police at the time. If you think you are wrongfully treated, make the complaint later.

6) Don’t use the excuse of a lack of a job or education for why you assault, rob or kill.

I was born and raised on a farm, dirt-poor, with eight other kids. My grandpa served time in Stillwater State Prison. My dad only made it through eighth grade, and none of us nine kids has ever received a college degree. We didn’t use that as an excuse to turn to crime.

Here endeth the lesson. No charge.

State Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Vernon Center

The writer is chair of the Minnesota House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Committee.


A double-standard in police shootings, domestic abuse

In the May 28 article “Stabbing boyfriend was her way out,” there seems to be a double standard. After fatally shooting a man, a police officer usually will face no charges after claiming he “feared for his life.” A woman who has her tooth knocked across the kitchen after months of repeated violence (five times) is told by the Anoka County attorney that “she had ample time to retreat.” Yet month after month, we read about women being killed by abusive men who are under a “stay away” protective restraining order. I think Arteisha Love feared for her life. She should not be in jail.

S. Steve Adkins, Lakeville


Complicity for the people in the pews: Yes, it is so

According to Merriam-Webster, “catholic” is defined as “of, relating to, or forming the church universal.” Capitalizing it (i.e., “Catholic” Church) only denotes a title; it does not change the meaning.

Wallace R. Johnson (“Clergy sex abuse compensation: Whose burden, whose gain?” June 7) claims that parishes and their members should not bear any financial loss due to clergy sexual abuse settlements, since they “had absolutely no responsibility for the sexual abuse.” He then plays the victim card.

By offering financial support to their local churches, parishioners are de facto members of the archdiocese and certainly can be expected to absorb financial losses as a result of its employees’ legal culpability.

Ignorance has never been a defense to negligence. Cash settlements serve as just compensation for damages — emotional and physical — as well as deterrents against future abuse.

It’s a universal undertaking.

Lori Wagner Hollenkamp, Mendota Heights

• • •

Johnson should be thanked for his well-reasoned commentary about attorney Jeff Anderson and his quest to get financial compensation for the sexual abuse victims of Catholic clergy. Money is not the answer to the pain suffered by these victims, although funding is certainly useful to obtain professional help for these victims. The more important result of the quest is that the abuse be stopped and that the guilty be held accountable for their actions.

Johnson made a couple of points worth considering: First, that the people in the pews who had no part in and no knowledge of the abuse when it was taking place should not have their Catholic schools imperiled by the overreach of Anderson and his associates. Our four children were educated through eighth grade by nuns and lay teachers who worked for much less than they could have been paid in the public educational system, for the love of the church and the children in their classrooms. I thank God for them. What a travesty it would be to see these schools closed down and sold as a result of this admittedly terrible and scandalous behavior of some members of the clergy.

The second point of the article referred to the fees that will be levied by Anderson and his group, assuming that they are not working pro bono. Even if they are pursuing this quest for free, Anderson’s zeal for money as a balm for the injured seems a bit over the top when it injures all the Catholics of the archdiocese in the attempt to compensate victims, who surely deserve our compassion and support.

We ordinary Catholics should be grateful to Anderson, Jennifer Haselberger and others who have exposed the guilty and those who for too long have concealed the wrongdoing, but making the average Catholic pay for these regrettable actions by endangering our schools and other valued services is unfair and unreasonable. We hope for more moderation in Anderson’s demands while commending him for his good intentions on behalf of the victims.

Carol Larsen, Coon Rapids


Complicity for the GOP

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said Tuesday that Donald Trump made the “textbook definition of a racist comment” with his comments about U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, yet Ryan continues to endorse Trump for president. This illustrates the primary issue with the GOP today — bigotry is acceptable. Whether toward Hispanics, Muslims, homosexuals, women, transgender people, whomever — bigotry is OK. Speaker Ryan, your actions speak louder than your words, and your actions endorsing Trump also endorse his bigotry.

John Ellenbecker, St. Cloud

• • •

I am asking because I am sure many others besides me are wondering: How does what Trump is saying about his Hispanic judge differ from what Minneapolis NAACP President Nekima Levy-Pounds is saying about the white Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board?

Philip Behrend, Minneapolis


Shakespeare explains

In response to a May 27 letter writer’s comments about the “stall” stage of Hillary Clinton’s career (“Her career arc is one with which many women might be familiar”): To say that Clinton, who is “volcanic, impulsive, enabled by sycophants and disdainful of the rules set for everyone else” (Gary Byrne in “Crisis of Character,” as reported in the New York Post on June 5) is “stalled” in her career is to defame and denigrate all those decent, hardworking and honorable women in business — some of whom I am blessed to have had as bosses — who are indeed stalled in their careers. The most benign thing I can say to the letter writer about Clinton is, as always, found in Shakespeare:

Why strew’st thou sugar on that bottled spider,

Whose deadly web ensnareth thee about?

Fool, fool, thou whet’st a knife to kill thyself.

The day will come that thou shalt wish for me

To help thee curse that poisonous bunch-backed toad.

Gary Smith, St. Paul


How a role model treats others

You don’t have to be a baseball fan to appreciate this. When the Minnesota Twins’ Joe Mauer is walked during a game, he doesn’t do what other players do. He doesn’t drop his bat or lay it on the ground before proceeding to first base. He waits for the batboy and hands the bat to him. I’ve concluded that what might seem to be insignificant is really a special sign of respect for other people. It’s not that other players don’t respect the batboy. But Joe displays — especially to young people for whom he is a model — how important everybody is no matter what position they hold in life. He might be paid multimillions, but his message is priceless.

Jim Bartos, Brooklyn Park