MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The University of Minnesota will drop racial descriptions from campus crime alerts, unless the description of a suspect is detailed enough to identify the person.
In a letter to faculty, staff and students Wednesday, President Eric Kaler says the routine use of a person’s race in those descriptions “may unintentionally reinforce stereotypes of black men and other people of color, as criminals and threats.”
University Vice President Pam Wheelock says they’re making the change in response to the concerns of students and faculty.
“We need to have enough information about a suspect so that somebody can reasonably use that information to help keep themselves safe,” Wheelock said. “Unless we have a sufficiency of information, we’re not actually going to use any suspect information.”
The issue is one raised by the group Whose Diversity which staged a sit-in at Kaler’s office earlier this month. Kaler says he’s been “moved by the personal experiences” conveyed to him.