“We apologize for the confusion.”
On Tuesday, the University sent out a timely warning to everyone on campus regarding someone who was assaulted with a bottle at the Mayo Building. Police described the suspect, detailing what he looked like, including his hair, clothing and height. They also identified his race.
They identified a young man who appeared to fit the description of a “black male with shoulder length dread locks” and sent out this innocent man’s picture to the entire campus.
Then, a later email from the UMN: “Due to an earlier misidentification, University of Minnesota Police are no longer seeking the male pictured in this morning’s timely warning. We apologize for the confusion. The overall description of the suspect has not changed.”
You’re telling me you misidentified an innocent man because he “looked similar” to a completely different young black man walking around campus?
Action against racial profiling has taken a backseat, and it is not okay.
UMPD, do you know what happens every time a young black male is connected to a crime? Students throughout the community who identify as black males cringe at this. Again, they say.
Again. Because nobody looks at a white man who committed a crime and counts this singular action against every other young white man on campus.
To students, staff, and community members on campus who are affected by racial profiling every day, we stand with you. We stand with you and we will fight with you against injustices, hidden or not.
Because “we apologize for the confusion” doesn’t cut it. And it never will.
This letter has been lightly edited for clarity and style.
Amy Felegy is a journalism student at the University of Minnesota.