History-making music group for UMM - morris mn

History-making music group for UMM - morris mn
The UMM men's chorus opened the Minnesota Day program at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair (Century 21 Exposition).

Monday, November 28, 2016

Law enforcement nervous about Wetterling resolution?

I considered this futile. (APM image)
Remember that character in the movie "Rambo II" who was in a command position but did not seem sympathetic? He wasn't overjoyed when hearing that rescued POWs were on their way back. His character represented a microcosm of the Viet Nam war, of course. The meme built up through the years is that we didn't really want to win the war. The pressures of the Cold War held us back: politics, expediency and the like. So, this commander at the U.S. base didn't share the elation of the others, when word came of this obviously good news that POWs were rescued and en route.
Plausible? Someone must have thought so. So, I'm connecting this subject to the resolution of the Jacob Wetterling investigation. Solving the case would seem obviously good news.
I wrote a long time ago that authorities might show hesitance pushing this matter to conclusion. The conclusion would be coming 27 years into this high-profile investigation. People (like me) turned gray wondering if there might ever be a ray of hope. That little boy seemed suspended in time: eleven years old. The investigation also seemed suspended, hopeless. And yet the wheels were turning feverishly.
Why might key public servants hold back on pushing this investigation to its end? Just like that fictional commander from "Rambo II," extraneous considerations could hover and cause hesitance. I have written before that resolution could open the door to lawsuits from people who were interrogated in a heavy-handed way. Law enforcement was under intense pressure to show it was making progress.
How do we define "progress?" Do we define it as actually leading to what the public obviously wanted: pinning down the guilty party, charging him etc.? But law enforcement might have a different attitude, one of just pushing certain buttons to follow procedures that might seem headed in the right direction, even though skepticism was called for.
Think of that wanted poster that was distributed all over. Every day when I'm at McDonald's, I'll probably see at least one guy come in the door that bears some resemblance to one of those drawings. They were like comic book drawings. I had a college art instructor who would describe it as "visual shorthand." People got paid to develop that poster and distribute it, complete with the hyperbolic words "we MUST FIND these men." Turns out one of the two drawings did look like the guilty party. But what about the other? Who was the origin of that? It was based upon an innocent party. Innocent parties were regularly dredged up in the investigation.
The dubious John Sanner
The sheer horror of this crime made wrongful accusations especially toxic. Law enforcement went so far as to declare a "person of interest," equated in the public's mind with "suspect," who was innocent. And now just as I predicted, there is a lawsuit that will cause sleepless nights for certain people, maybe including Sheriff John Sanner
So many futile leads
The Wetterling investigation has been called "massive and flailing." I have to wonder if, at a certain point, people in law enforcement approached it like they just appreciated being able to put in their eight-hour days and make a nice living. Were they privately convinced that countless of their leads or tips were pointless? Such a strange crime: a child just vanishes. Miraculously, the offender spent those 27 years relatively free of law enforcement contact. He was a suspect early-on. He covered his tracks well enough.
So law enforcement went on this massive search, certainly costing a great deal. Law enforcement had its agenda and obligations. Book authors and bloggers had no such blinders. John Walsh used the power of his nationally broadcast show to steer us in the right direction. The FBI was involved in this case. Nevertheless, it came down to a particular blogger and the attention she received on Walsh's show. Neither is compensated for law enforcement services. Yet they became the heroes. 
The Rassier matter, in court
Now the Stearns County Sheriff's Department has to defend against the predicted lawsuit from this gentleman named Dan Rassier
Law enforcement now has the huge embarrassment of revealing to the public, pursuant to law, just how extensive its investigation was, how many tips had to be filed etc.
This new fuss is caused by the resolution of the case, the desired goal all along. And yet, to use the words of John Mitchell of Watergate, law enforcement has its "tit in a wringer" and instead of feeling euphoric, is scared (s--tless) and on the defensive. Oh they'll deny that. It's no picnic having lawyers swarm around, like that Anfinson guy of the Minnesota Newspaper Association who has worked to try to get a 9-1-1 recording released. And then there's the attorney for Rassier with whom I share best wishes and good luck.
Sheriff Sanner is on the hot seat. Is it true that Patty Wetterling, allegedly coached by the sheriff's department, wrote a letter to Rassier asking him to confess? To a crime of this magnitude of evil? Has she since apologized to Rassier, the elementary music teacher? Patty wore a wire at one point to accost Rassier.
Investigators got a search warrant in 2010 to dig on the Rassiers' property. I remember checking an online comment board at the time. There was a picture showing all the heavy equipment at the scene, all the commotion. Yes, all of this cost taxpayers' money. Someone wrote: "They had better be sure this is the guy." Hmmm.
was "guilty" of being an adult living with his parents, and that was the whole problem. It's a more commonly seen living arrangement today. Amazingly, Sanner was quoted in a September 24 news article saying he had no regrets about the investigative efforts toward Rassier. As a public servant, he should always regret when an innocent private citizen is hassled or abused. Sanner argued that suspicion vs. Rassier was justified based on "the way he answered questions." He would not elaborate, which would have been a nice favor for readers who had no knowledge of the background. So he just sort of smears Rassier with this ad hominem statement.
must have just "seemed guilty," in Sanner's view. But now that we know of the man's total innocence, isn't it time to stop talking like that? Isn't it in fact time to be generous and gentle with the innocent elementary music teacher? Sanner further justified the suspicion on the basis that Rassier was "there alone that night." Really? Is Rassier to be faulted for those two facts? Being at that location and being alone? He was on his own property. Does he not have the right to be on his own property and to be home alone? And yet Sanner cites this as a basis for suspicion.
"Shame on us if we don't do what we did," the sheriff was quoted saying.
No, shame on you anyway, Mr. Sanner. I'm sure you are justifiably embarrassed over how the whole Wetterling matter deteriorated into a whole bunch of people technically fulfilling their obligations, until eventually a couple parties motivated by pure zeal got involved and pushed the case to resolution. Sheriff Sanner, you are stupid and cold-hearted.
What attitude to take re. the guilty party?
We have read some scorn directed at the guilty person, Danny Heinrich. People are incensed that he won't say why he did it. Well, isn't it obvious? Heinrich had compulsions that an ordinary person would not understand, like that Sandusky guy out in Pennsylvania. There is no point venting scorn at these people. They simply must be segregated off so they don't harm anyone. They are pathetic, misdirected souls, created by God for unfathomable reasons. But scorn?
Let me elaborate this way: let's say a person steals $1,000 and gets away with it. That person can at least gain pleasure from spending the $1,000. In cases like Heinrich and Sandusky, normal people cannot conceive of any pleasure gained from the crime - it wouldn't cross our minds to commit it. We would obviously be revulsed at the thought. So we're punishing someone for doing something that normal people would not even conceive of? Heinrich must simply be put away. Condemning him is pointless.
What if Heinrich hadn't been into child porn? He might never have been arrested. His punishment won't even be for the Wetterling crime. It will be for the child porn. After 20 years he'll stay confined but it will be in a situation that is not defined as punishment - it's defined as treatment. I hope the treatment helps him - he had a very troubled background.
Holding law enforcement accountable
I'm not sure I'd want to be Rassier's lawyer because it's rather an uphill battle going after law enforcement. Efforts at holding law enforcement accountable seem to be breaking through and making progress. A police officer in the Twin Cities has been charged with a needless death.
We pray that this type of aggressive law enforcement will not come to Morris MN. But you never know. Us U.S. citizens have elected an all-out bully as president. We read Saturday of a judge who is apparently a slumlord in St. Cloud.
We have a retired judge here in Morris who once made an unbelievable comment at a public meeting that included the epitome of a racist term, for which Mayor Carol Wilcox issued a public apology in the newspaper.
We cannot assume that our public servants all carry themselves in an exemplary manner. And to think they're worried about me because I haven't always worn my seat belt in the past!
I'd be happy sometime to share the quote word for word from the retired judge. I imagine there'd be some people at UMM a little concerned or agitated. One more traffic stop and I could do this (share the quote). But of course, Mom and I always put on our seat belts automatically now. Maybe they'll catch me making a lane change without signalling, like that Sandra Bland down in Texas who lost her life because of it.
I'm pleased to know that my personal character is higher, apparently, than that of many people in our law enforcement/judicial system.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

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