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Bemidji turned into a miserable police state

When I was a child, I remember traveling with my parents to Duluth. Dad would always say he needed to drive slowly through Floodwood, as it was a speed trap to give tickets out in multitudes and make money off of people for their local government. Anyone we knew thought this was appalling. Also Black River Falls, Wis., was known for targeting and nitpicking tourists, just to make money off of their tickets and citations. Well, this seems to have become a city and county wide procedure in Bemidji.

Why do we tolerate the cops pulling every car over for the most trite and inconsequential reasons? Snowmobile with no registration, front license plate not hung perfectly, registration that ran out at midnight and getting a ticket at 1:20 a.m., boys picking flowers at the library, a child swearing at lunch lady at Bemidji Middle School, being hauled off in handcuffs for oh such scary crimes!

What is wrong with the prosecutors and judges for not having the balls to throw these things out of court? There are quotas and I have heard that officers are being threatened with demotion and lowering of their wages for not arresting enough people. While the cops are issuing dozens of seat belt tickets at the opening of fishing, there were major burglaries taking place at 11 a.m. Cops need to simmer down and have more friendly public rapport, kick back and eat more doughnuts. Overlook the small violations and concentrate on the big ones. If tourists knew how we treat people in this area, maybe they would take their money elsewhere!

This town has turned into a miserable police state to live in and no one can have any fun. I never even hear loud mufflers and squealing tires any more!

Sandy Bean