UMN cuts ties with Minneapolis police in light of George Floyd case

The University of Minnesota will no longer contract with the Minneapolis Police Department for support services following the death of George Floyd.

City and university police forces in the past would work together during large-scale events like football games, concerts and ceremonies. But the university will no longer look to the department for help in those cases, President Joan Gabel said in a letter published online late Wednesday.

Instead, Gabel wrote, university police at the Twin Cities campus will limit their involvement with Minneapolis police 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.”

Also scrapped are agreements with the Minneapolis police for specialized services such as K-9 explosive detection.

“Our hearts are broken after watching the appalling video capturing the actions of Minneapolis Police Department officers against (Floyd) leading to his tragic death,” Gabel said in a letter posted to Twitter.

“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 in pain,” she continued.

The decision comes days after a video circulated online of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the black man’s neck as he lay prone on the ground. The footage has triggered investigations into Floyd’s eventual death Monday night and sparked demonstrations that in some cases turned violent.

Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and three other officers involved in the incident — Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng — were fired as the investigations continue.

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