Minnesota Golden Gophers to Limit Ties with Minneapolis Police Department After Death of George Floyd

George Floyd
Getty Images/Stephen Maturen

The University of Minnesota intends to limit its ties with the Minneapolis Police Department, after a man named George Floyd died after an officer placed his knee on Floyd’s neck during an arrest earlier this week.

In an announcement that was made Wednesday to students and faculty, University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel said that the school will no longer use MPD officers at major events.

According to Gabel’s statement:

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 contact 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 hamed and in pain.

My heart is heavy and my thoughts are with the loved ones and friends of George Floyd.

On a video that was released Monday, Floyd could be seen laying on his stomach, cuffed, while an officer held him down by placing his knee on Floyd’s neck. The officer kept his knee on the man’s neck for several minutes despite Floyd saying that he couldn’t breathe.

Floyd was later declared dead, four officers involved have been fired by the Minneapolis Police Department.

The Minnesota Vikings issued a statement on Wednesday, that they were “deeply saddened” by Floyd’s death.

Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn

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