- On Wednesday the University of Minnesota announced they would sever their relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department
- The decision follows two days of protest over the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Four MPD officers
- University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel said contracts with the MPS would be terminated in relation to security for larger events
- As of now, there have been no arrests for the death of Floyd despite video footage showing Derek Chauvin digging his knee in Floyd’s neck while two officers restrained him
The University of Minnesota has decided to take a stand against the Minneapolis Police Department following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of four police officers. No officers have been charged for the killing that was captured on video, which has fueled heavy protests and unrest in the streets of Minneapolis.
The decision to sever ties with the MPD was announced in a letter to students, faculty, and staff from the University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel. “Our hearts are broken after watching the appalling video capturing the actions of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) officers against George Floyd leading to his tragic death,” the letter began.
Gabel announced two immediate changes regarding the institution’s relationship with the MPD. Senior Vice President Brian Burnett was directed by Gabel to no longer contract with the MPD for additional law enforcement support for larger events, such as football games, concerts, and ceremonies. Gabel also directed University Police Chief Matt Clark to no longer use the MPD when specialized services are needed for events, such as the K-9 Explosive detention unit.
The university is limiting its “collaboration with the MPD to joint patrols and investigations that directly enhance the safety of our community or that allow us to investigate and apprehend those who put out students, faculty, and staff at risk.” The letter states the decision is a reflection of the community’s demand for “accountability and justice.”
Dear students, faculty, and staff,
Our hearts are broken after watching the appalling video capturing the actions of Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) officers against George Floyd leading to his tragic death. As a community, we are outraged and grief-stricken. I do not have the words to fully express my pain and anger and I know that many in our community share those feelings, but also fear for their own safety. This will not stand.
Today I am announcing two immediate changes regarding our relationship with MPD.
First, I have directed Senior Vice President Brian Burnett to no longer contract with the Minneapolis Police Department for additional law enforcement support needed for large events, such as football games, concerts, and ceremonies.
Second, I have directed University Police Chief Matt Clark to no longer use the Minneapolis Police Department when specialized services are needed for University events, such as K-9 Explosive detection units.
We have a responsibility to uphold our values and a duty to honor them. We will limit our collaboration with the MPD to joint patrols and investigations that directly enhance the safety of our community or that allow us to investigate and apprehend those who put our students, faculty, and staff at risk.
I write to you to express our overwhelming sadness, and our demands for accountability and justice. Our campuses and facilities are a part of the communities in which they reside. University students, staff, and faculty are day-to-day participants in the life of every community in this state, and we must act when our neighbors are harmed and in pain.
My heart is heavy and my thoughts are with the loved ones and friends of George Floyd.
Let our voices be heard and please take care,
President of the University of Minnesota Joan Gabel
An incredibly disturbing video has caused a mass uprising in Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd. The video that has now gone viral on social media shows Officer Derek Chauvin pressing his knee into the back of Floyd’s neck as he repeatedly tells the officer he cannot breathe.
Floyd was not the only person pleading with Chauvin to let him breathe. Onlookers began pleading with Chauvin to get off Floyd’s neck as his nose began to bleed and he became unresponsive. At one point Chauvin pulled out his pepper spray as a witness began to approach him while telling him to get off of Floyd. A second officer, Tao Thao, is seen in the video blocking witnesses from approaching Floyd and refusing to tell his fellow officer to get off the subdued suspect.
Since videos of the incident went viral, four officers have been fired according to Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo. Mayor Jacob Frey said terminating the officers was the “right decision for our city.” However, the decision to fire the officers has not been enough to calm anger in Minneapolis as thousands flooded the streets on Tuesday in protest. The entire incident is deeply disturbing to watch. Chauvin keeps his knee buried deeply into the back of Floyd’s neck for nearly the entire duration of the over ten-minute video. Paramedics arrive towards the end of the video as an unresponsive Floyd is placed in the ambulance.