The death of George Floyd has sparked outrage across the country after video showed a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the man’s neck as he struggled to breathe. It has also resulted in the University of Minnesota distancing itself from the embattled police department.
University of Minnesota president Joan Gabel released a letter Wednesday to students, faculty and staff in which she ordered the school to no longer contract the Minneapolis Police Department for additional law enforcement support at large events.
That includes football games.
Additionally, university police are to no longer use the Minneapolis PD for “specialized services” at university events, K-9 explosive detection.
The Gophers football team is currently scheduled to begin its season on Sept. 3.
After Floyd’s death on Monday, a video posted by a bystander showed an officer kneeling on the neck of the unarmed, handcuffed man. Floyd could be heard saying he couldn’t breathe before becoming motionless.
All four police officers involved in Floyd’s death were fired Tuesday, and Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey has requested criminal charges be filed against them. Floyd’s death has been met with almost-universal outrage, including heated protests in Minneapolis.
Minnesota’s move is one way in which the sports world is seeing the ripples of Floyd’s death. Athletes across sports have voiced outrage over what is seen as another unjust killing of a person of color by police, and pointed to it as further justification for player protests seen in sports today.
The Minnesota Vikings released a carefully worded statement on Wednesday lamenting Floyd’s death, saying “Everyone in our community deserves the right to feel protected and safe.”
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