Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo’s argument that traffic stops for equipment violations are necessary because they help contain or prevent violence in our communities rings hollow and distracts from the real issue, which is inappropriate, inhumane policing (“Mpls. City Council debates temporary freeze on certain traffic stops,” Feb. 7).
First, in all of the gaslighting rhetoric about violence, Arradondo and his team have yet to establish a specific correlation between stopping citizens for minor equipment violations and apprehending criminals. To characterize this tactic as a critical tool in fighting crime is grossly misleading. Second, the department’s own data show that blacks are more likely to be stopped by police for minor equipment violations than whites and more likely to be searched than all whites who are pulled over. How can this data be interpreted as anything less than racial profiling? While Arradondo acknowledges the very real trauma this perpetuates in the black community, he has made no substantive commitment to disrupting this pattern of overpolicing and holding officers accountable to disciplined, responsible, respectful conduct.
As a concerned white citizen, I support an immediate moratorium on police stops for equipment violations to allow time to more closely examine and dismantle this egregious pattern of policing. It’s time.
Cheryl Persigehl, Minneapolis
Perhaps with more equitable pay and attention, she’d play in 2019
Why would a WNBA player as good as Maya Moore want to move to a different career or sit out a season (Sports, Feb. 6)? Could low pay and long hours contribute to the decision? Low salaries force the women players to play overseas in their offseason without a break from playing. WNBA players are paid with 25 percent of the profits. NBA players are paid with 50 percent of the profits. With a salary cap of $115,500, the disparity is truly ridiculous. Start giving women players the recognition they deserve with higher pay, sports page articles, better TV options, more endorsement deals, etc. No more excuses.
Susan Gove, Plymouth
Opinion editor’s note: In an article for the Players Tribune announcing her decision, Moore wrote that “my no for the 2019 pro season allows me to say yes to my family and faith family like I never have before.”
STATE SENATE VICTOR JASON RARICK
So, the first thing you tout is your intent to be an obstructionist?
It’s only one quote among probably many, but it is telling. From Republican state Rep. Jason Rarick, elected Tuesday to the state Senate, comes: “We’re going to do great things in the Senate. We are going to stop everything they are pushing through the House.” (“GOP’s Jason Rarick wins Senate special election,” Feb. 6.) More obstructionist politics even on a night when an obstructionist president stated there should be less of it. Given an opportunity to represent all of his constituency, Rarick indicates where he will stand, and invites a similar response from the Minnesota House. Will it never end?
Philip J. Schiller, Eagan
U.S. SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR
What to take from her track record, her practices, her book
I have a question for the many Minnesotans and editorialists enthused by an Amy Klobuchar presidential run. When, if ever, has Klobuchar taken a public position in opposition to the orthodoxy of her party’s establishment faction? As a Minnesotan with food allergies, I am grateful for her work to lower the cost of the EpiPen. Yet I find it telling that this issue was a focus of her advertising during her 2018 Senate campaign. In fact, it seems to mask a risk aversion to and avoidance of the many pressing issues of our political epoch. If this is the case, what does Klobuchar offer to change-oriented Minnesotans who aren’t motivated by the prospect of sending a native daughter to the White House?
Brian J. Krause, Minneapolis
• • •
In every election, relationships are key. Don’t underestimate Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Each year she visits every Minnesota county, 87 in all. Know who raised $17,000 from ex-boyfriends for her first Senate campaign? If you haven’t read “The Senator Next Door: A Memoir from the Heartland” (2015), it’s a delight (and at the library). If you’re short on time, check out the book’s centerpiece gem — a 16-page photo inset (55 photos in all — from Grandpa Mike’s fellow miners at the 1936 Ely Zenith Mine to “Arriving in Minnesota on Air Force One”).
Fast-forward to the end, the final paragraph from the “Epilogue”: “There is, I know, no panacea to curing the ills of modern-day politics. Because I can’t control what others do, all I can do is try to stay true to myself, to stay focused, and to keep my eyes on the North Star. And as for all those obstacles, all those hurdles and fences and stone walls I’ve run into and around and over through the years? Every one of them has taught me something. And what I’ve learned so far is this: far more often than not, when you really want to get somewhere or do something and move ahead, the obstacles aren’t really obstacles — the obstacles are your path.”
You go, girl!
Judith Monson, St. Paul
U.S. REP. BETTY MCCOLLUM
Her seniority is among the reasons she is an effective public servant
A Feb. 7 letter writer said that Fourth District U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum should receive a primary challenge because she’d been in office a long time and that she received lots of PAC money. The opinion editors disabused the writer of the PAC money notion in a comment after the letter.
McCollum’s seniority and committee position are among the reasons that she was in a position to discover that something is obviously rotten in Denmark — or perhaps the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency — regarding the water permit for PolyMet Mining. There was a front-page, above-the-fold story about that in the same day’s newspaper (“Mine permit inquiry sought”).
The writer also claimed to be more on the “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Kamala Harris side” of the party rather than on that of McCollum. Anyone who has studied Ocasio-Cortez and Harris, with any degree of care, knows that they are not on the same side of the party.
Steve Timmer, Edina
TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT
And now, the results
I just finished my taxes for 2018. I’m solidly middle-income, and my income stayed essentially the same from 2017 to 2018. I was anxious to see what the big tax cut did for me. The answer? NOTHING! In fact, I paid slightly more than I did in 2017. Maybe if I had made more money I would have come out better.
David Brom, Brooklyn Park
Basic physics, folks
Traveling in recent days and seeing all the trucks and SUVs in the ditch reminded me of our family’s purchase of a four-wheel drive Jeep when I was young. I had said how excited I was to drive it in winter. My dad looked me straight in the eye and said, “It doesn’t matter how many wheels you have under power when you are on ice.” To which my brother responded. “Basic physics. Objects in motion tend to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force,” he said (and I’m an English major paraphrasing), “such as friction.” One wonders if we should have a basic physics unit in our driver’s training courses.
Luke Soiseth, Lakeland