Protests have begun in many forms following the now viral death of George Floyd.
The 46-year-old was suffocated to death by police in the street, with an officer’s knee restricting Floy’d airway for 7 minutes before he lost consciousness and died. Shocking video of the incident circulated the internet and has led to protests and rallies in the streets of Minneapolis, along with the firing or the officers involved.
The University of Minnesota is now taking steps on their end showing their displeasure with the actions of the department by announcing it will limit its relationship with Minneapolis PD, including no longer contracting them for major events.
The university’s president Joan Gabel issued a statement Wednesday to students, faculty and staff members, stating that the university no longer will use local officers to assist at major events, including football games. TCF Bank Stadium, where the Golden Gophers play sits just 5 miles from the location of Floyd’s death.
“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,” Gabel said in her letter. “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.”
“We have a responsibility to uphold our values and a duty to honor them,” Gabel wrote. “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.”
The school will also cut ties with the department for “specialized services” such as “K-9 explosive detection units.”