This is a collection of perspectives from Southwest Voices readers about Minneapolis Police Department, no-knock warrants, the MPD killing of Amir Locke, and our role in covering what happened. The only perspectives we didn't include were the ones people asked us not to publish.
You asked how we're feeling about MPD, so I'll be blunt: I think MPD is a corrupt and racist institution that has failed at its many opportunities for reform and is past saving. I think we need a complete overhaul of the way we pursue community safety. I don't have all the answers, but I know that a lot of smart people have been working on this longer and more intensely than I have, and I trust that good ideas are out there. I feel like almost anything would be better than MPD, which is ineffective at best (failing to do much about carjackings) and murderous at worst (Jamar Clark, George Floyd, Amir Locke). -Linnea, The Wedge
"We are all so sad to hear about this shooting. We need to take a close look at police protocols beginning with the judges sanction to treat this matter as so urgent as to justify a no knock invasion. As for the police they are as shaky as we are and they saw a gun and it looked to them like it was aimed their way. They reacted as they were trained in this circumstance. How did we get to this point where a young man sleeps with a loaded gun in his hand? God help us all. We are all troubled by the shooting of Amir Locke. But protesting in front of the police chiefs house or any other public officials personal residence is just plain wrong. If we cannot have civil discourse in appropriate venues no qualified people will take these leadership positions." -M
"I was really disappointed by the lack of mention of Amir Locke in Friday’s issue. I know it’s a developing story, but it’s really disheartening to see no mention of it on Friday when body camera footage was released Thursday night and we actually do know quite a bit about the situation at this point. Especially for my neighbors who are in a bubble, your silence on this allows them to stay in that bubble." -Elianna Lippold-Johnson, Linden Hills
“With respect to the Minneapolis Police and our city's safety, there are likely other cities or institutions to look to for ideas. Several years ago, the Minneapolis Public Schools did a clean-slate restart of a middle school in Tangletown: Ramsey Fine Arts magnet school became Ramsey Middle School (now renamed Justice Page Middle School). They hired a new principal, let go of all the teachers who then had to interview and be re-hired. A sort of cleansing of the police department could benefit from this approach.” - Julie Durand
“It is tragic to think SW Minneapolis is in part responsible for reanimating the MPD after the majority vote for the police in November. The question is, what have those same voters done to help ensure reform and change would still be possible even after the police status quo was affirmed by that vote? Residents of SW Minneapolis are some of the most privileged on the planet. This is not hyperbole. And this city will not change until the wealthy members of this city take the need for change seriously. Will they take it seriously now? And not just in their own interest but in the interest of all? Including in the interest of young black men who work for Door Dash?” -Brian
“I really believe in local journalism and am hopeful that your newsletter can contribute in a productive way. In my view, the most productive way would be to offer a balanced and nuanced perspective to difficult issues such as crime. For example, a no-knock warrant was used to arrest the people accused of shooting the two students in Richfield. Was it necessary then? Are there ever circumstances where it's helpful or needed? It seems we've already lost sight of all of the victims of community crime including the two students that were shot the same week. How do we both have effective and safe policing and also help and prevent more victims of community violence? Please stay away from politicizing the issue by showing only one side ("no knock warrants are always bad") and instead offer nuance and topics for discussion that include all of the issues, not just your own personal view." - Laura Russ, Lynnhurst
“Many of us in SW regardless of how we voted vowed to continue pressure for major reform going forward. The Mayor’s current leadership and transparency is totally lacking. And he lied during the campaign. The acting Police Chief has revealed herself in her recent appointments. It is not your job to provide hope or take sides. I trust you will learn from this and do better. I do sincerely appreciate your efforts with Southwest Voices even when it's hard. It is a wonderful contribution to SW. We need change desperately.” -Michele Foster, Lynnhurst