The Minneapolis Public School board is canceling its contract with the city’s police department, following a unanimous vote on Tuesday. It had previously budgeted $1.1 million to employ school resource officers (SROs), according to Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, a program that students and organizers have been challenging for years.
But it was ultimately the killing of George Floyd, and the widespread protests that followed, that catalyzed the decision to sever the agreement: On May 25, MPD officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, ignoring Floyd’s pleas that he could not breathe. His death has now been ruled a homicide.
“To see George Floyd on the pavement, already restrained, that was something that was undeniable,” Kenneth Eban, Our Turn’s senior manager of organizing for the Twin Cities, told BuzzFeed. “But in a way, that was sad and unfortunate, because students have been saying this for years. It feels unconscionable, that you couldn’t just listen to the people who were most deeply impacted by what’s happening.”