Minneapolis has a long history of racial disparities in its policing of its citizens. According to the ACLU, “Black Minneapolitans were 8.7 times more likely than whites to be arrested for a low-level offense – any offense with a fine of $3,000 or less and/or a year or less in jail. Native Americans were 8.6 times more likely than white people to be arrested for such offenses.” The large disparities in responses to individuals committing low-level crimes is detrimental to communities of color. This allows for other unfortunate instances to occur when the police are not held accountable. In a heavily racially segregated city, Minneapolis is a prime example of what happens when there is over policing and lack of accountability in communities of color.

On Monday, May 25th George Floyd was pinned down to the ground by four officers, including officer Derek Chauvin who held his knee over his neck for the entirety of nine minutes, resulting in the loss of his consciousness and his later death. This happened only three years after the killing of Philando Castile in nearby St. Anthony, Minnesota. Recently released video footage from a nearby restaurant shows the compliance of Mr. Floyd. Why did it take four officers to hold him down? Why did not one of the officers make sure that officer Chauvin took his knee off of George’s neck while he was pleading for his life? Those who commit murder are automatically thrown in jail along with their accomplices. Why have these four officers not been charged with murder? The police are not above the law and should be treated like any other citizens who have committed a crime.

On May 26th, protests began in front of Cup Foods, the location where George Floyd was killed, and in front of the third precinct in Minneapolis. Thousands had come together to bring awareness to the need for the prosecution of the four officers involved. Unfortunately, on May 27th police began firing tear gas that went as far as a block away while shooting rubber bullets into the crowd of peaceful protesters. The pain, anger, and suffering of the people must be channeled through peaceful protesting. We will not stop protesting until we receive justice for George Floyd. This highlights the importance of decreasing police presence on our campus. SDS has compiled a list of demands which will motivate our rally tomorrow, May 29th.

Demands: - Minimize Police Presence on Campus: Don’t replace MPd contracts with more UMPD officers. We want less cops on our campus!
- Student and Community Accountability Council: We need an elected council of students and community members with power to determine UMPD budget, hiring and firing, and review misconduct.
- Disarm & Defund UMPD: Patrolling a gun free campus of students, UMPD has no reason to be armed, and their budget of over 7 million dollars should be cut back and reallocated to services that students need.

#JusticeForGeorgeFloyd #JusticeForFloyd #Justice4Floyd #Justice4GeorgeFloyd #ICantBreathe #JailKillerCops