In the past couple of weeks, our state has been through a great deal of discontent and tragedy. It is in this time that elected officials must choose our words carefully, and choose to unite instead of divide, choose to withhold judgment in waiting for justice.
Unfortunately, public officials, both in Minnesota and in other states dealing with similar tensions and situations, have made assumptions that police officers and members of the public were acting with malicious intent in acting the way they did in these tragic situations. Rushing to judgement as a person in higher office does nothing to address the pain surrounding these events, and instead impedes our justice system from working effectively.
Unfortunately, Governor Dayton has chosen to jump to conclusions, well before investigations are completed. In the process, he has alienated our law enforcement officers, and made it clear what he hopes the outcome of any investigation will be, and this is simply inexcusable. As the highest elected official in Minnesota, we as citizens expect better, and out law enforcement officers deserve better. Here is a link to a statement issued by the Minneapolis Police Federation, Saint Paul Police Federation, The Minnesota Law Enforcement Labor Services, and the Minnesota State Patrol Trooper's Association in response to Governor Dayton's incendiary statements: http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/goppdf/7f461506-04fe-4d77-ab69-16646b1f604c.pdf
All people in our nation, including law enforcement officers and members of the public, are innocent until proven guilty. It is essential that we practice restraint and self-control in talking about such tragic situations when they are currently under investigation. We have a judicial system that needs to be allowed to work without being influenced by outside forces; we cannot allow special interests to back us into making inflammatory statements to appease them. This fans the flames of division, and that is anything but beneficial.
I hope you will join me in praying for our law enforcement and all those who are hurting in our state and nation during this difficult time. We also need to keep the families who have been affected by these tragedies in our prayers as well.