University of Minnesota Distances Itself From Minneapolis PD After George Floyd Death

The University of Minnesota is distancing itself from the Minneapolis police department in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death. Floyd was killed after being pinned to the ground by a police officer. The officer held Floyd face down against the pavement with his knee in the back of Floyd’s neck. Throughout the viral video, you can hear Floyd pleading for his life and saying that he was unable to breathe.

The death of Floyd has led to protests across the state and the university has now decided it will not ask the Minneapolis Police Department for special assistance at university events.

University president Joan Gabel released a statement distancing the university from the local police department.

“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,” a letter to the students, faculty and staff read.

“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.”

Four officers involved in the incident that led to Floyd’s death — Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng — have been fired by the Minnesota Police Department.

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