U. of Minnesota to Cut Ties with Minneapolis Police Department

People confront police officers during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Chicago, Saturday, May 30, 2020. Protests were held throughout the country over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Nam Y. Huh/AP Photo

The University of Minnesota announced this week that it is cutting ties with the Minneapolis Police Department over the death of George Floyd. The university previously used the Minneapolis Police Department for additional support during football games, concerts, and ceremonies on campus.

According to a report by Campus Reform, the University of Minnesota is cutting ties with the Minneapolis Polic Department in response to the death of George Floyd, who was killed after an officer pressed his knee onto Floyd’s neck.

The changes came in response to a protest effort by students who held a “Get Cops Off Our Campus” rally on Friday. “Join us in front of Morrill Hall to demand an end to racist, unaccountable policing on our campus!” the group wrote in a statement on Facebook.

“The University has now cut ties with MPD, but it still hosts its own private police force, which is only accountable to appointed administrators, not elected officials,” the group added. “They have brutalized black students in the past, such as on Somali Night in 2018, and constantly occupy and surveil campus, making students of color feel unwelcome and unsafe.”

In a statement released this week, University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel said announced that the university would no longer partner with the Minneapolis Police Department for special events.

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.

Gabel suggested that the university was required to cut ties with the Minneapolis Police Department if it wanted to uphold its “values.” Despite the changes, Gabel said that the university will continue to work with the police department on investigations that impact the safety of the campus.

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.

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