Two days after Minnesota resident George Floyd was killed after being pinned to the ground by police, University of Minnesota president Joan Gabel announced the school will no longer use the Minneapolis Police Department for large events such as football games, concerts and ceremonies.
Gabel also said the MPD would no longer be used for specialized services, like those provided by K-9 explosive detection units, at other university events.
"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 a letter to students, faculty and staff. "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.”
The university's undergraduate student body president, Jael Kerandi, had issued a letter on Tuesday demanding that the school cut ties with the Minneapolis police department.
"We no longer wish to have a meeting or come to an agreement, there is no middle ground," Kerandi's letter said. "The police are murdering black men with no meaningful repercussions. This is not a problem of some other place or some other time. This is happening right here in Minneapolis."
Floyd, 46, was stopped by Minneapolis police outside of a local grocery store. Video of the scene captured Floyd pinned on the ground as an officer placed his knee on Floyd's neck for approximately eight minutes. Floyd died soon after the incident.
Four Minneapolis police officers were fired Tuesday night for their involvement. Floyd's death has sparked reaction from the sports world. Houston Texans J.J. Watt called the incident "disgusting," while former NBA player Stephen Jackson took to social media to mourn Floyd, whom Jackson referred to as his "twin."
"I’ve seen the video and I think it’s disgusting," Watt said on Wednesday. "I just don’t see how a man in handcuffs on the ground who is clearly detained and is clearly in distress, I don't understand how that situation can't be remedied in a way that doesn't end in his death."
The Minnesota Vikings also voiced their support on Twitter, as the incident occurred near U.S. Bank Stadium.
“I write to you to express our overwhelming sadness, and our demands for accountability and justice," Gabel continued. "Our campuses and facilities area a part of the communities in which they reside. 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. My heart is heavy and my thoughts are with the loved ones and friends of George Floyd.”
Note: A previous version of this story misstated that Floyd formerly played in the NFL. The man who died in Minneapolis on Monday is a different man named George Floyd. SI apologizes for the error.