MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The University of Minnesota will be closed Thursday starting at noon in honor of George Floyd, whose private memorial service will be held in Minneapolis the same day.
President Joan Gabel says the move is out of respect for the event, which will be held at North Central University near downtown.
“I encourage all of us to reflect on and honor the memory of Mr. Floyd’s life. His death, tragic and unnecessary, reminds us that our lives are lived well when they are lived in service to each other,” Gabel said. “We have no greater purpose than a commitment to be good to each other, to be good to ourselves, and through those acts to create a just world.”
Gabel announced last Wednesday that the university has severed some ties with the Minneapolis Police Department in the wake of Floyd’s death during an arrest on May 25 by four officers — all of whom now face criminal charges as of Wednesday afternoon.
MPD officers will no longer be contracted for support at large events, including sports, concerts and ceremonies. And the university will no longer use the department for specialized services, including the use of K-9 officers for detecting explosives prior to events.
Floyd’s death spurred an international wave of protests, with several days of unrest in Minneapolis and in cities in ever single U.S. state.