The University of Minnesota has cut ties with the city’s police department days after a black man in Minnesota died after being pinned down by Minneapolis police.
In a statement released Wednesday by Minnesota’s president Joan Gabel, the university’s security for major events will no longer run through the Minneapolis Police Department. The release of the statement comes just two days after the death of George Floyd, who passed away at the age of 46 after repeatedly pleading with police officers that he could not breathe upon his arrest. The school had previously used local officers to work major events like concerts, football games, and graduation ceremonies.
“Our hearts are broken after watching the appalling video capturing the actions of Minneapolis Police Department officers against George Floyd leading to his tragic death,” Gabel said in her letter addressed to students, faculty and staff. “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.”
Floyd’s death on May 25 has been the leading topic of outrage and controversy despite living in a world still deeply affected by the coronavirus pandemic. His death has been the subject of protests in the city this week, after video taken from a bystander showed a Minneapolis police officer kneeling directly on Floyd’s neck. The officer refused to release pressure after Floyd stated several times that he was not being able to breathe. His eyes then closed, the pleas halted, and he was pronounced dead shortly after.
The four officers involved in his death were fired on Tuesday, and the mayor is seeking criminal charges. Minneapolis is in a world of hysteria following the events of this tragic incident, and it seems like the University of Minnesota has made the best choice for their students and culture moving forward.