Minneapolis Public School System To Vote On Severing Ties With City's Police: 'We Cannot Be Neutral In Situations Of Injustice'
“We cannot partner with organizations that do not see the humanity in our students," said the school board director.
May 31, 2020 at 5:48 pm
The Minneapolis Public School system is considering severing ties with the Minneapolis Police Department amid the controversy surrounding George Floyd’s death.
MPS board director Josh Pauly announced he drafted a resolution to “(1) terminate our contract with MPD, (2) cease future negotiations with MPD, (3) and direct the Superintendent & his staff to devise an alternative plan to better serve our students,” per The Hill.
The resolution will be presented to the board on June 2. Pauly argued the school board “cannot align itself with MPD and claim to fight institutional racism.”
He added, “we cannot partner with organizations that do not see the humanity in our students. We cannot be neutral in situations of injustice.
Pauly blamed the police for the unrest engulfing Minneapolis and cities across the country.
"Our communities are in pain, and our city is on fire as a result of MPD's blatant disregard for black lives. The people of our city are demanding justice," he tweeted. "We do have the ability to send MPD a very clear message - not only through public statements - but through action."
If MPS cuts off the police department, it will be following the lead of the University of Minnesota. On Wednesday, university President Joan Gabel announced the institution will no longer use MPD officers for security at sporting events and other major gatherings as Blavity previously reported. Instead, they will only be present for cases 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,” according to Twin Cities. The decision came following a plea from a Black student that the university cut ties. The school also terminated use of specialized services such as K-9 explosive detection.
"We have a responsibility to uphold our values and a duty to honor them," Gabel wrote in a letter. "We will limit our collaboration with 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."
Minneapolis has been an epicenter of civil unrest since George Floyd died on May 25, during an arrest for a non-violent offense. A video of the incident shows former MPD officer Derek Chauvin pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck until he lost consciousness. He was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
A criminal complaint filed by the Hennepin County Attorney's Office said Floyd was unresponsive for almost three minutes before Chauvin moved his knee, reported Insider. A preliminary autopsy report stated there were "no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation."
The cause of death was described as the "combined effect of Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death."
Chauvin and three other officers were fired after the confrontation. After days of violent demonstrations, Chauvin was arrested on Friday. He was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, reported KSTP.
Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng, the other three fired officers, have not been charged for Floyd’s death.