University of Minnesota to Limit Ties With Minneapolis Police After George Floyd Death

The school will no longer use local officers at football games

Minnesota cheerleaders run with the school logo flag across the end zone after a score during the Quick Lane Bowl game between the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on December 26, 2018 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.  Minnesota defeated Georgia Tech 34-10.  (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Minnesota cheerleaders run with the school logo flag across the end zone after a score during the Quick Lane Bowl game between the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on December 26, 2018 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. Minnesota defeated Georgia Tech 34-10. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
By Bonnie Stiernberg / May 28, 2020 9:46 am

Two days after the horrific death of George Floyd — an unarmed African-American man who died in police custody after a white officer kneeled on his neck, while Floyd and bystanders insisted multiple times that he couldn’t breathe — the University of Minnesota announced it would limit its relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department and no longer use local officers at major events like Golden Gophers football games.

“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,” university president Joan Gabel wrote in a letter on Wednesday. “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.”

Gabel also noted that the school 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.”

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

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