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Leaders denounce violence directed at police during protests in St. Paul

Plus: attorney says officers thought Castile looked like armed robbery suspect; why Essar Steel tanked; the problem with Greater Minnesota’s business climate; and more.

Police are seen as people gather on I-94 Saturday night to protest the fatal shooting of Philando Castile.
REUTERS/Adam Bettcher

Following Saturday night’s violence during protests in St. Paul, Paul Walsh and Claude Peck in the Strib say, “The violence perpetrated by some of the protesters against the police prompted denouncement in the strongest terms by St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Police Chief Todd Axtell, who called the pelting of officers with rocks, bottles and other items ‘a disgrace.’ Axtell said 21 officers from all law enforcement agencies on the scene were injured in the mayhem. One of them suffered a broken vertebrae after a concrete block was dropped on his head … .”

The PiPress has a collection of comments from prominent politicians on the violent turn of events Saturday night. Said Al Franken:  “The attacks last night on state and local law enforcement that left 21 officers injured were completely unacceptable, do not advance the cause of justice, and make it more difficult for our communities to begin the long and difficult healing process.”

Peter Holley in The Washington Post picks up on a post by Kenyon, Minnesota police chief Lee Sjolander. “The chief may oversee a small-town department, but his organization boasts an outsize presence on Facebook, with more than 26,000 ‘likes.’ Much of the credit for the page’s popularity goes to Sjolander, who fills the timeline with candid journal-like entries to local residents that range from deeply personal to delightfully playful. … ‘We expect you to know the difference between the letter of the law, and the spirit of the law, and when to use your best discretion. We expect you to leave people better than you found them when you can, and never take away someone’s dignity. We expect you to be well-trained, and to know when, and when not to apply your training.’”

The Strib’s Brandon Stahl also has this. “A St. Anthony police officer pulled over Philando Castile because he was driving with a broken tail or brake light and he believed that Castile looked like a suspect from an armed robbery nearby that was reported a few days earlier, the officer’s attorney told the Star Tribune on Sunday.”

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The Strib editorializes, “The problem is far greater than just disparate law enforcement. There is too much evidence in this country of systems that remain tilted against racial and ethnic minorities, whether it is education, employment, criminal justice, home buying or banking. What will it take to finally root out prejudice and racial injustice in a country that began its life enslaving part of its population? That is a question too broad for any single editorial. But we know that the happy talk of a ‘post-racial’ era that some indulged in with the election of this nation’s first black president was poppycock.”

And since these things must always have a partisan edge, we get this from Thomas Lifson at the AmericanThinker, a conservative blog. “Much of what we think we know about the shooting of Philando Castile by police in Minnesota is false.  But we shouldn’t be surprised, because the media sticks to The Narrative. … ”

Thoughts from Tim Worstall in Forbes on Essar Steel’s main problem. “Essar Steel Minnesota went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday as the State of Minnesota withdrew the state licences for the taconite the company was preparing to mine. It might seem a little odd that an Indian owned mine in Minnesota will go out of business as a result of the Chinese steel industry slowing down but that is what has happened. This globalisation thing really does mean that the international markets are connected in this manner.”

Semi-related. Adam Belz of the Strib says, “Minnesota businesses outside the Twin Cities are falling behind on creating new products, exporting and hiring, a study by the state’s biggest business group says. With crop and steel prices depressed, the outstate business climate has weakened in the past couple of years, a problem compounded by pronounced struggles to fill open jobs, according to data collected by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. … .”

It looks like an alien invasion. At The Weather Channel, Brian Donegan writes, “Residents of Iowa and Minnesota were treated to an incredible sight Sunday morning as a squall line of thunderstorms produced a shelf cloud sweeping through portions of those states. … A shelf cloud is the boundary between a downdraft and updraft of a thunderstorm or line of thunderstorms. Rain-cooled air descends into a thunderstorm’s downdraft, and then spreads out laterally when reaching Earth’s surface. Warmer, more moist air is lifted at the leading edge, or ‘gust front’, of this rain-cooled air.” But you already knew that, right?

Also in weather, Cody Matz at KMSP-TV says, “Some heavy rains fell in parts of Minnesota late Saturday and early Sunday prompting a couple of Flash Flood Warnings and plenty of puddles.  But the good news is that the heaviest of the rain fell in areas that really needed it. While the metro saw anywhere from a quarter to three quarters of an inch, parts of central and western Minnesota received more than 2 inches of liquid.  … While this isn’t a drought buster, it does certainly help and with more rain in the forecast, the area will likely see significant improvement to the soil moisture over the next few days.”

Last curtain for the Showboat. Says the AP, “What do you call a boat that doesn’t leave the dock and has a stage but no actors? The Minnesota Centennial Showboat. Since 1958, the University of Minnesota’s theater department has been staging summer productions aboard a vessel moored on the Mississippi River. But this summer’s show — which runs through Aug. 27 — will be the U’s last float on the boat. When the show closes, the future of the showboat, docked at St. Paul’s Harriet Island, is adrift.”