To the editor,

We are writing in response to an article written by Gene Johnson on July 9, 2020 titled: “A Strange Time.” Gene Johnson is Publisher Emeritus at Press Publications, owner of the Isanti-Chisago County Star. We are responding to the statement: “Law enforcement in many areas of the country, including our own Twin Cities, appears to be unjust, inhumane and very discriminatory.”

When this article is placed in the Star, it is placing the Isanti Police Department  in a terrible position. Really, Gene Johnson, unjust, inhumane and very discriminatory? We know Chief Muryes and many of the Isanti Police Officers. I would not call them unjust, inhumane and very discriminatory. We know Sheriff Caulk and we would not put those labels on him either.

All of Isanti County law enforcement agencies have been operating under LEXIPOL (a robust policy manual that is far above the minimum policy requirement). IPD has sought out innovative policing strategies to address social concerns. In March 2020 IPD applied for a Department of Justice COPS grant to add a police officer that will be assisting persons with mental health concerns. This novel approach in law enforcement is indicative of our dedication to be leaders in professional policing in our community. The negative narrative Gene Johnson writes about policing attempts to divide police and our community. Johnson’s narrative is attempting to degrade every citizens’ quality of life by passing judgment on professionals he has never met. 

We are offended and saddened by the death of George Floyd at the hand of a Minneapolis Police Officer. Should we as a society declare the whole Minneapolis Police Department racist as a result of this event? Can we take the next jump and declare every law enforcement agency in the Twin Cities area including the Isanti Police Department unjust, inhumane and very discriminatory? It is our opinion all officers should be judged on their own merit and not a blanket belief statements that cause our society to come out with  slogans like “The only good cop is a dead cop”. We do not want a target stuck on our Isanti Police officers. The July 9 opinion piece put out by Gene Johnson does just that.

We are not saying there is not very discriminatory police officers, but racism in Minnesota does not start the day George Floyd died, neither does it start with our local police departments. More black babies are aborted than white babies. With the majority of Planned Parenthood Clinics put in minority neighborhoods, the first Covid 19 order put out by Governor Tim Walz keeping abortion clinic open was unjust, inhumane and very discriminatory.   

The Isanti City Council

(1) comment

steph kneld

I am in total agreement with this letter to the editor. Our police officers are necessary, needed, and valuable. Yes, they too have biases, just like you and I. Don't tell me you don't, because you do. Your life experiences dictate that. Our police are placed in dangerous situations daily, and their lives often hang in the balance when they arrive on a scene. they rely on their training, and their senses to determine what comes next. Yes, there are police that are on power trips.... we have all had an encounter with them... most of us for a traffic stop. If our governments would STOP telling them they need to have "quotas" for tickets and money generating, most of these officers would give us a talking to, and, with a warning ticket to document that we have been warned, let us go. When a situation is dangerous for them, they have to think quickly, and in a split second, determine many things... how dangerous is this, what will X or Y do, and how should I respond, what is the end result of my choice... and now add to that the thought of possibly ending up with felony charges for just doing my job. To our police force, sheriffs, and all others.... THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU DO. I, for one, am GLAD that here, we remain protected because of YOU.

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