Call on candidates to repudiate tactics
We read the St. Paul Police Federation’s thinly veiled racist attack on Melvin Carter with sadness but not surprise. For too long, trust between law enforcement and communities of color has eroded to the point where the people we represent think it is safer to not call the police than to reach out for help. This is unacceptable and it is time for us, policy makers and leaders, to call out these attacks for what they are.
Elected officials must be held to a higher standard and so we call on all candidates running for office to denounce these racist tactics and commit to a clean, issues-focused campaign. As lawmakers, we have focused on getting upstream of violence and strengthening police-community relations so it is especially disappointing to see these comments coming from an organization that has not once stepped up to support that work at the Capitol.
Likewise, the men and women who serve and protect our communities must also to be held to the highest standards. It is inappropriate to use scare tactics and baseless victim blaming for political gain.
We believe strongly that our campaigns should rise above this hurtful rhetoric and call on the other candidates in the race to disavow the Police Union and their tactics.
—Senator Jeff Hayden can be reached at email@example.com.