A local University of Minnesota Student posted on Instagram the following claim: (photo below in post)
Tw: police violence and brutality/racial profiling
Last night, after finishing up my homework and honestly wrapping up a pretty long week, I wanted to go take a walk outside.
I was returning back home when I saw that there was a police car. Instinctively, a couple thoughts rushed to my mind: breathe, head up, don't walk too fast - not too slow, be normal. I took my mask off, I took my cap off, and I made sure that if anything happened that they were able to see my face. Next to me, there was a white man with his mask off, walking his dog, wearing a black coat as well. I felt safe that there was another presence there and could see the cop cars at the corner of my eyes.
I turned the corner around 5th and 12th and saw sirens going off. Immediately, squad cars pulled on all the sides and cornered me where I couldn't escape or speak. The cop got out of his car and asked me all sorts of information, but the only thing I could think of was: what did I do wrong other than the fact I was a brown man. There were two cops behind me - hands on their guns. I had my hands up and was struggling to find the words I always had thought I'd say if I was EVER in that situation but all I could think of: one sudden move and I would be shot.
I was able to show the officer my University ID saying that I was a university student just trying to clear my mind by taking a late night stroll but they wouldn't believe me. After multiple questions, they turned off their lights and left me alone: no apology, no explanation, nothing. Just me: mentally and emotionally tormented with an experience that will last a lifetime.
Now, after having some time to think about this, to process, and to come to the senses that the thing/the situation that I hoped would never happen to me - happened. It was brutal. What if that was another black or brown man not able to prove their identity or maybe they were in the wrong place at the wrong time - what then? We can't keep sending armed police as a solution for student safety or community safety. If anything, that was the most traumatic thing I have ever experienced from the people who are supposed to be there for me. No. Defund these bastards.
He then posts this call to action on Instagram:
Call to action: My story won't be the first and my story will certainly not be the last, but this story can be the change and catalyst to show that enough is enough. Our community is strong to enact the changes that we want to see. We have the ability to ensure our BIPOC community members never have to fear going out, even for a walk at night.
So many of you have reached out to me showing your love and asking how you can help. Now, here is your call to action: send an email to UMN admin and use your voice to show that this is not acceptable. That the UMPD needs to be held accountable.
Z.umn.edu/umpdblast (link in bio) is an auto-populated email that have the emails of the administrators that can hold UMPD accountable. All you have to do: send.
Speak up. Act Now. Send.
BELOW IS THE UNIVERSITY RESPONSE:
UMN Department of Public Safety
Response to February 1, 2021 Public Outreach
In response to public outreach about an event that occurred during the early morning of February 1, UMPD is posting the full audio and video captured from a UMPD squad car at the scene.
DPS received a robbery call at 1:36am on February 1st, 2021. UMPD officers met with the victims who confirmed they were robbed by two suspects armed with guns. Two UMPD officers stopped to talk to an individual who they believed possibly matched a suspect description about a block from the robbery at 1:43 am. Allegations have been made that UMPD officers exhibited bias, racism and misconduct during this interaction. To promote public safety and dispel any misunderstandings, UMPD believes that the public should see and hear what actually occurred.
Members of the Department of Public Safety believe public trust is an essential part of providing public safety services to the campus. Department members also understand the need for each interaction with the public to be free of bias while also providing support, empathy and understanding to all community members. UMPD takes seriously any accusation of misconduct, and information on how to voice a complaint or concern about UMPD can be found here.
BELOW YOU CAN WATCH THE ACTUAL UMPD VIDEO AND READ THE TRANSCRIPT OF THE INTERACTION:
February 1, 2021 at 01:42am Transcribed by DPS Records Department on February 3, 2021
Squad 1830 (Officer 1): So the guy walking on the sidewalk, he is kinda out of the area but not so much. I don’t know, it’s worth checkin’ and chattin’ with him or not.
Squad 1831 (Officer): [inaudible]
Squad 1830 (Officer 1): It’s a white male, dark hoodie, but he doesn’t have a mask. But.
Squad 1831 (Officer): [inaudible]
Squad 1830 (Officer 1): Alright.
Squad 1830 (Officer 1): U of M 1830
Dispatch: Squad 1831
Squad 1830 (Officer 1) : I’ll be out with a suspicious person possibly related to this call at 11thAve Se and 5thSt Se.
Dispatch: Okay, copy
Squad 1830 (Officer 1): Hey, how’s it going?
Unidentified Person: [inaudible]
Squad 1830 (Officer 1): You just walking home? Did you see anything occur today or tonight a couple of minutes ago or so?
Unidentified Person: [inaudible]
Squad 1830 (Officer 1): Ah, we just had a robbery of a person and you kinda match the description, as far as someone wearing a dark hoodie.
Unidentified Person: Oh no, oh no ..[inaudible] .. I swear.
Squad 1830 (Officer 1): U of M 1830 it’s not going to be the party. Okay
Unidentified Person: I am a University of Minnesota student
Dispatch Background: 1830 copy, if you can get back on the Minneapolis channel
Squad 1830 (Officer 1): Okay no, I believe you, I appreciate it, you are good to go. We just have a lot of cars around here
Squad 1830 (Officer 2): You’re good man, you’re good.
Squad 1830 (Officer 1): Alright sorry about that man, we just had a robbery that occurred in this location and whatnot, so were are just checking it out, we just wanted to chat with you. See a lot of cars out here. You’re free to go. Where you living at these days?
Unidentified Person: I am a CA, [inaudible]
Squad 1830 (Officer 1): Okay, well you have a good night.
Unidentified Person: Would you mind giving me a ride?
Squad 1830 (Officer 1): No, I can’t, I can’t give you a ride.
Unidentified Person: Okay, thank you
Squad 1830 (Officer 1): Thank you
Squad 1830 (Officer 2): We are still looking for the guy, that’s why we can’t give you a ride alright