University of Minnesota bans Minneapolis PD after George Floyd’s death

President Joan Gabel says that the school is severing ties with the police because as an institution they are brokenhearted and appalled by the video

Minneapolis Police
Minneapolis Police create a blockade. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

In a strongly worded letter to students, staff, and faculty, the president of the University of Minnesota, Joan Gabel, is severing ties with the Minneapolis 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.” the letter begins, “As a community, we are outraged and grief-stricken.” 

READ MORE: Eric Garner’s mother Gwen Carr on George Floyd’s death: ‘It’s a recurring nightmare’

Gabel announces, “Today, I am announcing two immediate changes regarding our relationship with MPD.” 

University of Minnesota Joan Gabel

University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel (from the university’s website)

She instructed staff to no longer contract with Minneapolis police “for additional law enforcement support needed for large events, such as football games, concerts, and ceremonies.”

According to the letter, Gabel instructed UMN police chief Matt Clark to no longer use the Minneapolis police for specialized services like K-9 explosive detection units.

“We have a responsibility to uphold our values and a duty to honor them,” Gabel said in the letter, “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.” 

The University of Minnesota is a public research institution that spans the twin cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. It is organized into 19 colleges, schools, and other major academic units. 

READ MORE: NBA’s Michael Porter Jr. says people should ‘pray’ for officers who killed George Floyd

According to its website, the university has over 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

The university was founded on the principle that all people are enriched by understanding. It is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth. Their mission statement believes that in sharing this knowledge through education, the school creates a more diverse community with the hope that students can apply this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.

“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,” Gabel wrote, “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. My heart is heavy and my thoughts are with the loved ones and friends of George Floyd.” 

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