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Oh, Minneapolis.

How far you have fallen. I don’t see a future with you anymore. It’s not me, it’s you.

You’ve let yourself go. From the weed- and trash-infested Hiawatha Corridor whose trees haven’t been pruned all year, to the ugly, overgrown brush that lines our freeways, to graffitied buildings, burgeoning homeless encampments and newly decimated miles of street front, to public nudity about to become legal (“City parks may allow all to go topless,” July 16), violent crime night and day, “no go” areas and no leadership to address any of it. Just yard signs, an “imagined” better future and no concrete plans.

Have you no decency? No pride?

I’m glad that I am no longer raising children here.

This isn’t going to fix itself.

Are you familiar with Newton’s first law of motion?

“An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”

Minneapolis, you are in a downward spiral and unless acted upon by another, redirecting force, you’ll be a wasteland, inappropriate for families, void of stable businesses, jobs, safety and quality of life.

I used to defend you. I used to love living here, was proud of our City of Lakes, but now …

I am angry, weary, saddened and repulsed by what you have become.

Deanna Noethe, Minneapolis

• • •

To paraphrase the late Charlie Daniels, Golden Valley police and Minneapolis Park Police must have thought Paula Chesley was “a thoroughly dangerous woman.” According to the article Thursday regarding the Park Board’s policy on nudity, “five or six police officers approached her” while she was reading and topless in a secluded part of Theodore Wirth Park. Does it really take that many police officers to cite a partly nude woman? Or was there some juvenile thrillseeking on part of the police? Good grief!

Another beachgoer, Krissy Calbert, who is Black and was possibly targeted, was cited for being topless the same day, July 10. She was informed that a drone had spotted her topless at the beach. Were her civil rights violated? Where is Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison? Where is the ACLU? Whenever I see Golden Valley or Minneapolis Park Police vehicles, I have never seen a female officer or Black officer inside. One or two police officers citing these women would have sufficed. Do Minneapolis and Golden Valley taxpayers need to support this waste of police time and scarce funds?

Wayne Dokken, Robbinsdale

POLICING IN MINNEAPOLIS

This ‘plan,’ this mystery — this is not leadership

In reading the remarkably lame commentary from five Minneapolis City Council members (“Our case for changing the charter, July 16), I thought of a time when I interviewed several World War II Medal of Honor recipients for a writing project I was doing. One of Capt. Matt Urban’s soldiers said to me that the greatest thing he could say about Matt was that he “always led from up front.”

Our City Council members seem to want to take a different approach by asking us to take the lead in voting on the charter. Their article is full of generalities and bromides such as: “flexibility to build,” “to reimagine,” “to think bigger,” “to move forward,” and to “seize the historic opportunity.” This is all presented without any semblance of a plan. Folks, tell us what you are going to do. Be specific. Then, maybe we will follow your lead. But in the spirit of Matt Urban you have to get up in the front first.

Richard A. Young, Minneapolis

• • •

I was surprised by the print headline “Most want cop funding cuts now” (local section, July 15, 2020) and the way it misrepresented the story that followed. I read the headline and thought the paper must have conducted a poll of Minneapolis residents. Instead, I found the story that followed reported on a city budget committee hearing where “the majority of speakers” (no specific numbers) asked the city to cut $45 million from the city’s Police Department. Readers don’t even know how many people spoke.

I haven’t made up my mind on whether cutting the department’s funding is the best way to bring accountability to the Minneapolis police, but I found the headline misleading and the story woefully lacking in details. As a former small-town newspaper publisher, I know the power that headlines carry.

Dana Schroeder, Minneapolis

• • •

As a fellow human, I genuinely feel for the stress the individual MPD cops are feeling. We are all upset over all that is happening. And that is good. We should be upset.

This is also a time for introspection. We the citizens of Minneapolis have let you down by allowing poor training that does not equip you to confront everything you see one a daily basis. We have allowed this to go on too long.

But I would hope that you would take some time for introspection as well (“Minneapolis police union leaders say they felt abandoned,” July 16). You have consistently voted for leadership that routinely shows nothing but contempt for the people of Minneapolis. You are quoted as saying that you cannot live in Minneapolis because you fear for your beautiful children. Really? That is so appalling on so many levels. You have participated in the protection of bad cops. And then you wonder why we can’t see what good guys you are?

Think how much better and more fulfilling your job would be if you actually had the trust of the community. It has to start with you. Be the change you want to see.

Alice Johnson, Minneapolis

• • •

Recently I read for the second time about the Minneapolis Police Department’s change in use-of-force policy “encouraging” officers to de-escalate tense situations (“MPD makes revisions to use-of-force policy,” July 15). Going forward, police will now have to document how they tried to de-escalate a situation and why, after trying to de-escalate, they reverted to the use of force. They will also be required to explain why they chose a particular level of force during the interaction.

I understand that issues of law enforcement in a community are not simplistic. I (white suburban woman) have had positive interactions with police officers where I live. But the fact that any police department is just now requiring (encouraging?) this level of accountability in its officers, in regards to possibly inflicting physical and emotional harm upon citizens in the community it serves, is really just stunning.

Mary G. Alberts, Eden Prairie

CONFEDERATE SYMBOLS

My, how they’ve endured?

It was a pleasant surprise to learn recently that Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has called for culturally divisive symbols, including the Confederate battle flag, to be removed from U.S. military bases and installations. It was an unpleasant surprise to learn that a Confederate flag has been on display in any fashion at our bases and installations and requires such an action. My, we have a lot of work to do.

Meg Luhrs, St. Croix Falls