UPDATE: University of Minnesota to Limit Relationship with Minneapolis PD
The death of George Floyd has prompted UMN to limit its ties to the city’s law enforcement agency. Ohio State students are also pressuring OSU to cut ties with Columbus PD.
UPDATE JUNE 8, 2020: The University of Virginia’s Black Student Alliance is calling for all outside law enforcement agencies to be barred from campus, reports Education Drive. Additionally, Northwestern University’s union of graduate workers said the school should divest from from the Evanston (Illinois) and Chicago police departments.
Masslive.com is reporting that UMass Boston will no longer allow Massachusetts State Police to use the school’s campus as a staging area for protests and events.
The Daily Pennsylvanian is reporting that more than 9,600 people have signed a petition calling on Penn to cease its institution support of a “racist, fascist police state” that has led to continued violence against black people.
UPDATE JUNE 3, 2020: Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts announced on Tuesday that it will no longer hire off-duty Worcester police officers for details. It will also suspend its policy requiring a law enforcement officer be present during large student events, reports the Telegram.
The change was made in response to police reaction to unrest that happened on Monday and Tuesday where four Clark students were arrested during a confrontation over the death of George Floyd.
“We do not at this time know the full circumstances or details of these events,” Clark President David P. Angel and president-elect David B. Fithian said in a statement. “What we do know is that the police actions we have witnessed are unacceptable and a source of dismay to all within our community. We share the anger and concern over these actions.”
Angel and Fithian also said the school will “undertake a comprehensive and thorough investigation of all that occurred” of the incident involving the four Clark University students. Additionally, the university is immediately initiating a comprehensive evaluation of anti-bias and de-escalation training of campus police officers and other staff members.
ORIGINAL JUNE 1, 2020 ARTICLE:
University of Minnesota (UMN) President Joan Gabel announced on Wednesday that in response to the in-custody death of George Floyd last week, the school will limit its use of Minneapolis Police Department officers.
The announcement was made in a letter that was sent to students, faculty and staff, reports ESPN.
Specifically, UMN will stop hiring Minneapolis police officers to work security at major university events, such as football games and ceremonies. It also won’t hire the city’s officers for specialized tasks, such as K-9 explosive detection, reports Fox Business.
In her letter, Gabel said UMN 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.”
Gabel’s order went into effect immediately, reports KARE.
Floyd, 46, died as he was being restrained by MPD officer Derek Chauvin and two other MPD officers. Another officer was standing by, watching the events unfold. Video shot by a bystander showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, even after Floyd said he couldn’t breathe and then stopped moving. Chauvin and the three officers who were with him on the call have been fired by MPD. Additionally, Chauvin has been arrested, and Minneapolis’ mayor is calling for criminal charges against the other three officers.
Despite the changes implemented by Gabel, some UMN students want more revisions. At a peaceful rally of about 200 people on UMN’s campus on Friday, protestors made three demands: 1. Minimize police presence on campus; 2. Establish an accountability council to oversee UMN’s police department on issues such as budget, hiring, firing and misconduct; and 3. Disarm and defund the department, reports Minnesota Daily.
UMN students aren’t the only ones wanting significant changes to their school’s relationship with local police. The presidents of Ohio State University’s (OSU) student government groups requested in a letter that OSU cut ties with the Columbus Police Department, reports Cleveland.com.
The letter asked that:
- OSUPD immediately cease its contractual agreements with Columbus PD for all on-campus investigations;
- OSUPD cease mutual aid agreements with Columbus PD and reevaluate joint patrol operations to limit the frequency of calls;
- OSU “no longer accept federal, military-grade resources and reduce OSUPD’s budget for expenditures that may be used for further militarization. Instead, reallocate the funds to further invest in student support units, such as the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Student Life Multicultural Center, Student Life Counseling and Consultation Services, or the Student Life Student Wellness Center.”
- OSU Department of Public Safety “release an action plan, devised with student input, that arms the commitment to black student safety and overall university safety through disarmed, anti-force, and culturally competent practices.”
- OSU “acknowledge and condemn the anti-black violence Columbus PD committed against Ohio State students and the greater Columbus community.”