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Summers of Fear in America’s Number one city — An open letter the mayor and city council of Eden Prairie, MN


On November 26, 2012, the same article has been reproduced with all redacted names included. The complete unredacted article can be viewed at:

http://www.zcomm.org/unredacted-version-summers-of-fear-in-americas-number-one-city-by-karthik-ramanathan

Summers of Fear in America’s Number One City – An open letter to the Mayor and City Council of Eden Prairie, MN.

[Written in tribute to all those innocent friendships everywhere that were victims of prejudice and bigotry.]By now it’s not only known but also well-advertised within this City that Eden Prairie, Minnesota has been ranked by a national magazine as the Best Place to live in the United States.  The judgment was based on a number of factors including economics, quality of life etc. This resulted in tremendous celebration among City officials and ever since the electronic display at Purgatory Creek Park on Prairie Center Drive, has been used to highlight this achievement.

 

However, the judgment did not consider some other important factors such as respect for Human Rights or Free speech or due process of law or civil rights, which if taken together may raise questions about the City that may not be all too comforting to celebrate. I don’t pretend to have a definitive answer, but my experiences with some City officials as well as observations of trends around the city suggest that there are strong reasons to question the future direction of the City and to be skeptical of such a celebratory note.

I’m a single immigrant from India who owns a home in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. In this letter, I would like to disclose that on February 28, 2010 two police officers of the City of Eden Prairie arrived at my residence that Sunday morning. Even after they hand signaled me to come to the door as I looked out the Window from my bed and as I was walking down towards the entry door, they kept knocking incessantly at the door and on opening handed me a trespass notice ordering me to stay away from the Eden Prairie Community Center for a year. This notice was signed by Jay Lotthammer, Director of Parks and Recreation in the City. The Community Center is a local health club that I had used for around a year and a half and had already cancelled my membership by the time this notice was handed to me.  Then as now, I have zero criminal records. If the reader is curious as to why anyone would hand over a trespass notice to me when I no longer use the facility and had not caused any known harm, then I also share in the same.

Since then for the last year, I have worked with Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB) – an active local organization that is committed to the principle that NO ONE is above the law, be it ordinary people or government officials and law enforcement agents — in order to research into the events leading up to the notice, as well as the city trends and background on a key official involved in issuing me the notice. The results of this investigation are stark and reveal an abrasive bureaucracy that seems to function on paranoia when dealing with its racial minorities like myself in Eden Prairie. There is also a very casual nature even towards serious accusations again to the detriment of everyone’s real security. I hope that the new City Council and Mayor Nancy Tyra-Lukens would consider this investigation and its conclusions seriously so that corrective action may be taken with regards to the behavior of key city offici

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