- Associated Press - Thursday, June 9, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - State Rep. Tony Cornish’s letter to a Minnesota newspaper offering advice on how to “reduce the use of force by police” is being decried by the president of the Minneapolis NAACP.

Cornish’s letter was published Wednesday by the Star Tribune. The letter’s advice included not being “a thug” and not leading “a life of crime so that you come into frequent contact with police.”

The Vernon Center Republican wrote in another bullet point, “Don’t flap your jaws when the police arrive. Don’t disobey the requests of the police at the time. If you think you are wrongfully treated, make the complaint later.”

Minneapolis NAACP president Nekima Levy-Pounds decried Cornish’s letter. She said the word “thug” was a coded reference for black men.

“I’m disgusted that one of our state legislators would feel comfortable writing a racially charged op-ed that reinforces negative stereotypes about African-Americans,” she said.

Cornish stood by the letter, telling the newspaper (http://strib.mn/1VP6uQj ) that he was speaking out for “cops” who “haven’t had any voice.”

Remarks by Cornish don’t reflect reality for many black Minneapolis residents, said 28-year-old Joseph Chase Elliott. He’s an organizer with Minneapolis nonprofit Neighborhoods Organizing for Change.

“A lot of people do exactly what police say,” Elliott said. “They tell you to do certain things. People do it and still get harassed.”

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

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