The University of Minnesota announced Wednesday that it has severed some ties with the Minneapolis Police Department, including contracting officers to provide security at home football games.
The move announced by university president Joan Gabel comes two days after the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after being pinned down by white police officers executing an arrest.
Gabel sent a letter to students, faculty and staff members Wednesday night, stating her instructions to university officials to "no longer contract the Minneapolis Police Department" to provide security large on-campus events, including 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," Gabel said in her letter. "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 said the university will also cease using the MPD for specialized services, such as "K-9 explosive detection units." Gabel said the MPD's role on campus will be limited to "joint patrols and investigations that directly enhance the safety of our community."
TCF Bank Stadium, home to Gophers football, sits approximately 5 miles from the site of Floyd's death.
"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."
--Field Level Media