Skip ahead to August, 1994. St. Paul Officers Ron Ryan Jr., Tim Jones, and his K-9 partner Laser are killed by Guy Harvey Baker. During the funeral procession, I rode in a Minneapolis squad car and saw block after block after block of citizens with signs saying things like "We love you" and "Thank you St. Paul Police." I don't think we went a single block through the entire miles-long procession that there wasn't someone standing on the sidewalk, expressing their gratitude and their sadness for the loss of those officers.
There is only the ribbon of water called the Mississippi separating Minneapolis and St Paul physically, but there is a gulf separating us in the way we are perceived by our communities; we can thank the press for that.
I can only hope the Minneapolis Star Tribune continues to provide us with the real stories about the great work done being done every day by the investigators and street cops of the Minneapolis Police Department. I'm not asking for sugar coating, just fair and honest reporting.
Here is my appeal to the editors of the Minneapolis Star Tribune: You Have the Power. We all know that. You're like a laser that can instantly cut and burn. In the right hands, it is a tool of healing. In the wrong hands it is an instrument of destruction. Help us to heal the police-community relationship in Minneapolis. What you have done in your recent reporting on cops is wonderful. Keep up the good work. You can make the difference.