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: University of Minnesota to Limit Relationship with Minneapolis 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:

  1. OSUPD immediately cease its contractual agreements with Columbus PD for all on-campus investigations;
  2. OSUPD cease mutual aid agreements with Columbus PD and reevaluate joint patrol operations to limit the frequency of calls;
  3. 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.”
  4. 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.”
  5. OSU “acknowledge and condemn the anti-black violence Columbus PD committed against Ohio State students and the greater Columbus community.”

About the Author

Robin Hattersley Gray
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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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6 responses to “UPDATE: University of Minnesota to Limit Relationship with Minneapolis PD”

  1. Gene Harris says:

    Awesome, now the inmates are running the insane asylum! What is needed today and is in short supply, leaders with a backbone! The first time there is a critical incident and students are dying they will be screaming where are the police.

    I am a retired police sergeant and I know there are bad police officers just like there are bad students and other bad people on school campuses, some are employees. The vast, and I mean vast, majority of officers do not go to work thinking to themselves, today might be the day I get to kill a black guy. Doesn’t happen. I am white and had good friends who were black I worked with in law enforcement. I now work in school security with good friends who are black. Racism doesn’t run within a profession, it is a heart issue with only one solution, the Prince of Peace.

  2. Jeana says:

    My sentiments exactly, Mr. Harris. These institutions will need help someday and will have no where to turn. They reject the good people because of a small number of bad. Will this mindset ever change?

  3. Lee Watson says:

    I think severing ties with local PDs by colleges can only be interrupted as a knee jerk approach to a national outcry for more police reform. You can’t paint all police departments with one brush.

    You deal with individual PDs that service your community and/or campus. You meet with the head of the local PD with the goal of seeing if their values and respect for human beings and their constitutional rights are in line with your college’s values statement. Don’t take the PD’s word that they do. Examine their annual reports especially in the areas of complaints filed against the PD/officers and other related policies.

    You want to pour over their deadly force, use of force, and community out reach records. Remember, you as the head of the college have a responsibility to protect your students from unjust treatment at the hands of the police while at the same time making sure that you work in unison with your local PD in areas of school safety from campus unrest, active shooters etc.

    Let’s face it, colleges need their local PD; no getting around that issue. What they can demand is more transparency when it comes to police policies that will have a direct impact on their student body. Those policies have to be in line with the school’s values and mission statement. If not then you are just kicking the can down the road until the can hits the proverbial wall and then it may be too late to get ahead of a good relationship with your local PD….

  4. Jason Reel says:

    Well said Gene! These knee jerk reactions to chastise an entire profession is only prevalent within the law enforcement community. The irony is that on some level, this concept is the same rooted hatred that is prevalent in racism. Can you imagine if everyone looked at Doctors the same way as they do LEO’s? The amount of police involved shootings/killings pale in comparison to the number of people killed by medical malpractice killings every year. My mother was one of those killed by this type of negligence, but I don’t have a visceral hatred toward medical professionals. In the end, it all comes down to what you allow to control your thoughts and your heart. Some people are just horrible people, whether they be police officers, Doctors or protesters. No specific group holds the patent on evil and to believe so is a person’s choice. It shouldn’t be a difficult concept, love God and love one another. Those are the only two commandments we need to abide by because it covers the rest of them. Please pray for our country.

  5. Melvin Murdock says:

    Sergeant Harris, thanks for your service, and I totally agree with your assessment. Throughout my 34 years as an LEO, I have witnessed the same backlash, over actions committed by a minute portion of the law enforcement profession.

  6. Exactly Jason-our medical professionals mistakenly kill 100,000 Americans every year due to errors, incompetence, and malfeasance/malpractice. Some are even murders such as nurses who intentionally kill multiple patients. My mother in law, too, was killed by a serious error during a routine day surgery, my sister lives day to day with a compromised aortic valve from a botched surgery, and my wife almost bled to death in an emergency room because the nurse forgot to order blood and she crashed to a BP of 20 with the doctor asking me if I had made end of life decisions. I don’t hate any of these doctors or nurses. They were doing the best they could under difficult circumstances. They all still have jobs and are practicing medicine, even the doctor who messed up my sister’s heart surgery and was told by the nurse of her new doctor, “It’s a wonder you are still alive after going under his knife.” Something about good doctors calling out bad doctors comes to mind. As opposed to 100,000 lives, American law enforcement mistakenly kills between 50 and 100 people a year due to honest mistakes of perception (Philando Castile), incompetence (Justine Damond), and malfeasance up to and including murder (Walter Scott). The other 900+ are tragic, justifiable homicides which are literally in the officer’s job description to protect the public from violent suspects.

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