Wow, what a rush to hate-filled judgment in Wednesday's letters about the law enforcement action at Mar-a-Lago ("Tread carefully, Democrats").
Here's what we know: A lawful search warrant was executed at a man's home in Florida. The warrant and the affidavit supporting it were the result of a criminal investigation conducted by career government employees who took an oath to support and defend the Constitution. The investigation led to a determination that there was probable cause. The resulting affidavit and search warrant probably received the most careful scrutiny of any ever prepared, due to the prominence of the individual involved. This wasn't a unilateral action of the executive branch. Two of our three branches of government were involved in the process. The judicial branch had the final say after independent, impartial review of the facts outlined in the affidavit and warrant. We are a nation of laws, and no person is above the law.
Now here's what we don't know: what the alleged crime was. What the facts were, put forth in the affidavit outlining the probable cause for the law enforcement search. What the search results were. Why a search warrant was deemed necessary vs. a subpoena. Until these facts are made public and we can all form our own proper conclusions based on the facts, we would all be well advised to keep calm, place our faith in our venerable system of justice, and reserve judgment.
Accusations with trigger terms like "corruption," "banana republic," "abuse of power," "overreach," etc., are irresponsible, unfair to due process and serve no purpose other than to further inflame an already volatile environment.
David Pederson, Excelsior
Readers Write on Aug. 10 contained not just one but two letters from readers that made reference to the FBI's search for records at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate as what happens in banana republics and not in America. Many so-called leaders in the Republican Party who supposedly stand for "law and order" are up in arms.
A legal search for documents by a Trump-appointed FBI director and approved by a judge is very different from what happens in actual banana republics. What happened on Jan. 6 is what makes our country look like a banana republic, and too many Republicans want us all to ignore what happened that horrible day. I voted for Republicans over the years such as Ronald Reagan, Rudy Boschwitz, David Durenberger and Arne Carlson. I can't do it anymore. Unfortunately for all of us, the Republican Party I respected for years has disappeared.
Gary Armon, Blue Earth, Minn.
I find it interesting that there is so much outrage over the search of former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence. Without any of the facts and details known, Trump supporters are calling it a witch hunt that is politically motivated. These "supporters" of law enforcement have now turned on law enforcement when it is doing its job.
We must remember that a search warrant doesn't necessarily mean a crime has been committed, and when a search warrant is issued, a judge authorizes it. That process is a constitutional separation of powers. The executive branch must seek authorization from the judicial branch, which I would argue eliminates the idea of a witch hunt by the Department of Justice and the FBI. Also, no one is above the law, and the former president doesn't get a free pass any more than you or I.
Jim Smola, Apple Valley
FIFTH DISTRICT RACE
We voters aren't too happy
The voters have spoken ("Omar survives tight race," Aug. 10), and looking at the closeness of the results, it seems I am not alone in my displeasure of how U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar represents (or doesn't represent) the interests of our district. As evidenced by the recent failure of the "defund the police" measure, her positions are out of step with her district. I'm certain if more people looked closer, they would disagree with her votes against the Russian oil ban and the infrastructure bill, too.
Rep. Omar, you will not get my vote in November, and this Democrat will work to support your GOP opponent, Cicely Davis, instead. If the primary process doesn't work, then the general election will have to do; you need to be replaced with someone more interested in what their constituents need, not in what Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or the cable news networks need.
Howie Smith, Minneapolis
We simply need a better system
As mental health advocates, we'd like to address the July 8 editorial "A 'better path' to helping mentally ill."
First, while we appreciate the attention to this issue, we'd note the importance of "person first" language when we talk about people living with mental illness, rather than referring to "the mentally ill" (which limits the view of a person to their illness, not the whole person).
Second, we are in absolute agreement that too many people with mental illnesses end up in the criminal justice system. We've taken important steps in Minnesota to address this, including expanding our mobile mental health crisis teams, improving police training, increasing access to screenings and mental health care in the jails, and creating new forensic navigators to help connect people to care during the competency restoration process. There is more to do, but there is no single answer here.
The most important way to divert people from the criminal justice system is to build a mental health system. By the time a person living with mental illness becomes involved with the criminal justice system, we have already failed them on many levels. Early screenings, access to appropriate treatment, a trauma-informed approach to care, peer support and so much more are essential to a system of care that helps people do well in the community and avoid interaction with the criminal justice system at all. We can do better, and should continue to work together to develop collaborative and respectful solutions and build the system we need.
This letter was written by Shannah Mulvihill, executive director at Mental Health Minnesota, and Sue Abderholden, executive director at NAMI Minnesota.
Another young man, Jordyn J. Hansen of Otsego, was recently shot and killed by officers after a call to the police from his family requesting assistance ("Family IDs man killed by deputies," Aug. 9). According to a Washington Post database, more than 1 in 5 people shot and killed by police have mental illnesses and since 2015, police have killed more than 1,600 people with mental illnesses. Families of people suffering from severe mental illness often call 911 when their loved one is highly symptomatic, hoping an ambulance and medics can provide aid. During a mental health crisis people may be suffering from severe delusions and paranoia and do not react in the way police officers want and expect them to, often leading to dire consequences.
Awareness needs to be raised so that Minnesotan families of those suffering from mental illness know that there are mobile crisis mental health services available throughout the state. Teams of mental health professionals can provide psychiatric services, support and alternatives to involvement with law enforcement, ideally creating a collaborative approach in which safety is preserved for all involved. Emergency mental health services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for adults and children. The Minnesota Department of Human Services lists crisis response phone numbers by county on its website. My hope is that more families can become aware of alternatives to police involvement that may ultimately save the life of the one they love.
Emily Johnson, Stillwater