Black students, faculty want race IDs out of U of M crime alerts


Fearing racial profiling, several black students and faculty members at the University of Minnesota are lobbying U of M administrators to remove race descriptions in school crime alerts, WCCO Radio reports.

According to the station, members of several organizations made the request in a letter to President Eric Kaler and Vice President of University Services Pamela Wheelock on Dec. 6.

Several organizations took part in the request, including African-American and African Studies, the Black Faculty and Staff Association, the Black Graduate and Professional Student Association, the Black Men’s Forum, the Black Student Union, and the Huntley House for African-American Males.

The concern continues following a rash of crime incidents on or near the U of M's Twin Cities campus during the fall semester.

The Minnesota Daily reported last week that university police sent out 17 alerts for 23 separate incidents in the fall – the highest amount for any semester at the Twin Cities campus in six years.

One of the crime alerts, issued following an armed robbery attempt in Anderson Hall Nov. 11, incorrectly identified a black student as a suspect in a surveillance photo. The university followed up by issuing a photo of a different black man, calling him a "person of interest."

While the groups said in a statement that they unanimously agree campus safety is of "utmost importance," the "efforts to reduce crime should never be at the expense of our Black men, or any specific group of people likely to be targeted. In addition to causing Black men to feel unsafe and distrusted, racial profiling is proven to inflict negative psychological effects on its victims."

Black Men’s Forum President Ian Taylor Jr. repeated the plea in a meeting Wednesday, saying the "repeated black, black, black suspect" description only "discomforts the mental and physical comfort for students on campus because they feel like suspicions begin to increase."

Wheelock said in a formal letter earlier this week that she was concerned about the belief by some that there was "an increase in racial profiling," yet said there was no reason to change the way suspects are identified in crime alerts.

“I firmly believe that a well-informed community is an asset to public safety, I believe that sharing more information in our Crime Alerts, not less, is most beneficial in terms of public safety, especially when that information is available," Wheelock said.

Next Up

denny dempsey

Burnsville priest identified as bicyclist killed in Rosemount

The church says he was doing what he loved: riding his bike.

Matt Dumba

Wild open road trip with win over Canucks

At 5-1, only the St. Louis Blues (5-0) are off to a better start in the Western Conference than the Wild.

moose minnesota usfws - flickr

MN homeowner mistakes large tent for dead moose

They spotted two people on a security camera dragging the "moose" across a driveway.

Flickr - minneapolis police officer close-up belt camera - Tony Webster

What happens if Mpls. public safety question passes? City memo provides answers

The memo was sent to the mayor and council members Tuesday morning.


COVID-19 hits Minnesota Wild coaching staff

The Wild will be shorthanded for Tuesday night's game in Vancouver.

Anthony Edwards

Ant takes alpha role after bad loss: 'We need to lock the f*** in'

The Timberwolves' rising star was not happy after Monday's loss to the Pelicans.

parker eisinger

Lakeville football player diagnosed with cancer week before playoffs

The tenth-grader was diagnosed with a form of cancer most commonly found in people aged 65 and older.

University of Minnesota peeping tom suspect

Someone keeps trying to film showering women at U of M

The university has received three reports in the past two weeks.

john Fluevog shoes 1

John Fluevog Shoes closes its Uptown Minneapolis store

The brand could return to the Twin Cities one day.

sidecar drink

Sidecar — Town Hall's new cocktail lounge — is officially open in Minneapolis

It's the fifth Town Hall location, but the first to focus on cocktails.