The University of Minnesota is re-establishing ties with the Minneapolis Police Department two years after distancing itself in the wake of the brutal killing of George Floyd by an MPD officer, an incident captured on video that sparked nationwide protests and prompted colleges to rethink such partnerships.
The university announced in 2020 that it would stop contracting with MPD for support at campus events, such as athletic outings, concerts and ceremonies, and would discontinue the use of various services provided by the local police department, including K-9 explosive-detection units.
Despite backing off that partnership in 2020, the University of Minnesota never fully broke away from the MPD and faced criticism earlier this year for deploying campus police to assist other law enforcement agencies responding to off-campus protests against police brutality.
On Wednesday, the university announced that it will begin the process of reinstating its relationship with the local police. An email to the campus community announcing the change did not mention Floyd’s murder as the reason for the initial distancing, The Star Tribune reported Thursday. The newspaper reported that university officials cited—but did not specify—the progress MPD has made in recent years.
MPD will now provide security for major events, such as football games, and other services.