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How About Putting Cops’ Good Deeds on Body Cams?

 Too bad the officers' body cameras weren't rolling recently in Duluth. It might not have been the sort of gritty scene that makes it on the evening news or reality TV shows like "Cops." But the above-and-beyond response of the Duluth P.D. and St. Louis County deputies to an elderly man affected by a typical accident reveals another side of policing captured by the Duluth News Tribune that needs to be seen more often. The incident happened when Duluth resident Wade Oyabu's bike got totaled in an accident through no fault of his own. It was collateral damage when a vehicle ran...

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10k Reward for Eco-Vandals Behind Death of Thousands of MN Mink

Cruelty to animals had better be included in the criminal charges against the supposed animal-lovers behind the weekend release into the wild of 38,000 domesticated mink from an Eden Valley fur farm. The FBI and Stearns County authorities are already investigating the perpetrators who are still at-large as eco-terrorists under the Federal Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.  The vandals responsible for the $750,000 loss to Lang Fur Farms could hardly have devised a more cruel outcome. The minks' "liberation" has been a deadly disaster for thousands of animals that have never had to fend or defend themselves in the wild before.  Most stand little...

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Virginia shooting reiterates need for self-defense

This op-ed originally appeared June 24, 2017 in the St. Cloud Times. In addition to giving thanks that only the shooter was killed June 14 in Alexandria, Virginia, I suggest a proper response is devoting more energy than we usually do to thinking seriously, not just about how violent ends can befall any of us anytime, but how we’re more acquiescent about such vulnerabilities than we need be or should be. Politicians, journalists and the rest of the nation continue to speculate in fearful unison about how many members of Congress and other people likely would have been killed if two members of...

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Is Governor Dayton Bigoted Against Minnesotans?

Governor Mark Dayton prejudged the Jeronimo Yanez case hours after the fatal shooting of Philando Castile, at a time when virtually nothing was known about the facts. He said: Would this have happened if the driver were white, if the passengers were white? I don’t think it would have. Since then, Yanez has been indicted for manslaughter, and has been tried and acquitted by a unanimous jury that included two African-Americans. Yet Dayton still takes a prejudiced view of the case. Yesterday he met with African-American leaders and said, reacting to the recently-released dash cam video of the incident: With stone-faced African-American leaders...

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Officer Acquitted In Shooting That Gov. Dayton Prejudged

This afternoon, a Ramsey County jury acquitted police officer Jeronimo Yanez in the fatal shooting, last July, of Philando Castile. The case drew worldwide attention, mostly because Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, livestreamed the immediate aftermath of the shooting on Facebook. Following the verdict, one of the jurors said that the initial vote had been 10-2 for acquittal, but it took five days for the two holdouts to go along with the other ten. There were two African-Americans on the jury, neither of whom was one of the two holdouts. The acquittal of Yanez doesn't seem surprising. The charge of second-degree manslaughter doesn't...

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A Theater District’s Bad Stretch of Bad Actors

It was encouraging to read in the Star Tribune on Tuesday (April 4) that Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, along with the CEO of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, the CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council and other city leaders had implemented a new plan to “make sure that Hennepin Avenue is, and feels, inviting, welcoming, and safe for everyone from every neighborhood, at every time of day.” To its credit, the plan has a lot of moving parts, including increased presence of Minneapolis and Transit police officers as well as Hennepin County deputies; greater involvement of civic organizations such as...

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Star Tribune support for Republican “protest” bill a vital step forward

The Star Tribune should be commended for their important January 19 editorial: Take prudent steps to keep protests safe.  They are basically agreeing with Republican efforts to more effectively deter protesters from shutting down highways and rail lines.  The Star Tribune’s message that this type of recent protester behavior is unacceptable is a vital step forward toward restoring order and public safety.  Here are the highlights, with emphasis added: Legislators at the State Capitol would be wise to proceed carefully with efforts to clamp down on certain types of protest — namely, those that block highways and light rail tracks —...

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Desperately Seeking Islamophobia

Today's Minneapolis Star Tribune sounds an alarm on hate crimes against Muslims, a common theme in the news lately: While alleged terrorist acts by American Muslims dominate public debate, terror acts against Muslims are rising sharply, even as other hate crime categories appear to be on the decline, according to researchers and data reviewed by the Star Tribune. The incidents have alarmed Twin Cities Muslims, though many say they are uncertain whether to notify law enforcement or respond quietly for fear of fanning more hostility. But what constitutes "rising sharply"? This is the graph that accompanies the article: There are four lines on the...

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Why Did St. Paul Kick Cops Off Review Board?

St. Paul cops have always been outranked on the city's Police-Civilian Internal Affairs Review Commission. The review board for investigating complaints of police misconduct has been comprised of five civilian representatives and two officers since its inception two decades ago. But now St. Paul City Councilors have caved to pressure from an overflow crowd at City Hall with media reporting police were voted off the review board and will no longer be involved in the process. Apparently that wasn't the plan going into the December 7 city council meeting. The city council was moving toward keeping officers on the commission, but some were...

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Heather Mac Donald’s Research on the Law and Order Crisis

On Thursday (Dec. 8) American Experiment will host Heather Mac Donald, the premier crime expert in the nation for a special lunch forum on her new book: The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law Enforcement Makes Everyone Less Safe.  We are expecting a full room of over 350 that will include about 150 law enforcement officers who will be recognized and honored. $30 tickets are available here.   This morning (Dec. 2) Heather Mac Donald gave a terrific interview to the Justice & Drew Show on AM-1130.  The summary below gives a good concise review of her important...

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