Community police challenges not just a metro issue

PHOTO: lord enfield, Flickr CC-BY

My latest column for the Minnesota Reformer, “Law and Order starts with peace,” weaves stories from my Iron Range grandpa’s time as Keewatin town cop with the unsettling trends in community policing today. This is a problem for all of us to face, not just the metro area.

This piece refers to the killing of a shoplifting suspect by the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department last month. That matter remains under investigation. I talked about the incident in my “Voices of the Region” segment for WDSE’s Almanac North two weeks ago.

Read the column here.



  1. Yea so many mysteries with these police taking of lives anywhere. We live fairly close to the George Floyd murder site, I am not pulling any punches about what happened as you can read. It seems as destiny is different for those who have a free unaccountability card at every level including the very top if you know what I mean. With the George Floyd case it was the ‘counterfeit bill” which we have not heard thing one about since he was strangled to death in front of the world. Well put …” Cops are human. The more we put them in inhuman situations, backed by an inhuman system, the less we should be surprised with inhuman results.” Thanks.

  2. We had words for all of this so long ago. Auctoritas. Auxilia, etc. Who was it? Tacitus? “You create a desert and call it peace.” Power cannot be gained through violence. Violence erodes power. 5,000 years and we are right where we started . . .

    I don’t think I should personally delve into Nero and Herod right now. If you know you know. RIGHT BACK WHERE WE FRIGGIN’ STARTED!

    Peace Be With Your Souls.

    “I am like a desert owl. An owl among the ruins.”

  3. Hello Aaron. I know I am late to your post, but I just wanted to thank you for writing it.

    Estavon’s sisters Coelina and Felice graduated from the school I work at. It is heartbreaking to see what his death has done to their family. The girls overcame a lot of obstacles in their own young lives and were doing well. They had faith that their brother would eventually be able to do the same.

    As you wrote in part of your essay:

    “…Estavon Dominic Elioff – a troubled young man who should not be dead…”
    “Shoplifting and fleeing police officers is not, nor should it be, punishable by death.”

    Until more of us in the community are able to just say those simple words aloud, nothing will be changed. Thanks for “saying” those words through your writing.

    Amy Hendrickson

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