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Students for a Democratic Society march for community control of UMPD

On Friday, SDS and community activists called for the creation of a Campus Civilian Police Accountability Council.
Image by Emily Urfer
SDS Member Nadia Shaarawi addresses a gathering, advocating for community control of UMPD, outside of the Transportation and Safety building on Friday, Oct. 16. The SDS event began with speakers and ended with a march to Morrill Hall.

Around 40 people attended a march for community control of the University of Minnesota Police Department organized by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) on Friday.

Before the march began, protesters gathered in front of the UMPD building to discuss the issue of police presence on campus. Students then marched on Washington Avenue before heading to Northrop Plaza for closing statements from organizers and an open mic for protesters.

SDS organizers called for the disarming and defunding of UMPD and are working alongside other students groups, such as UMN Climate Strike and the Black Student Union, to establish a Campus Civilian Police Accountability Council (CCPAC) that would give students, workers and community members full control of UMPD. Establishing a council would allow community members to determine the allocation of funds and dismiss officers for misconduct.

“It’s exciting that students want to show up and show out for community control. This protest in particular was really impactful for us because we were able to bring in more community members outside of the students that attend this University,” said Olivia Crull, a member of SDS.

Several community activists spoke at the rally, including Sumaya Aden, the sister of University student Isak Aden, who was killed by police last year during a SWAT operation that included officers from Bloomington, Burnsville, Edina and Eagan.

Sumaya Aden told the protesters about her experience with UMPD during a moderated community conversation with Gov. Tim Walz at an event hosted at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs in February. UMPD forcibly removed protesters after a verbal exchange with Walz and the moderator of the discussion. Once in the lobby, protesters continued to demonstrate when UMPD detained and handcuffed Aden, video footage captured by Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar showed.

“We have officers running around on campus arresting people to use them as an excuse to get people out of a location that they don’t want them at. It’s not acceptable. It’s an abuse of power,” Aden told protesters. “I wasn’t doing anything illegal, but they take me and put me in the squad car to get out of the building.”

In a closing statement, SDS member Eric Dorland explained why the organization is fighting for a CCPAC and how it benefits the community.

“In short, [a CCPAC] allows people to decide exactly how they want the police to function and allows people to take public safety into their own hands in a system that has
disenfranchised them since its beginning,” Dorland said.

SDS has been especially vocal in its efforts for a CCPAC and the defunding of the police since the police killing of George Floyd in May.

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  • A Gopher
    Oct 20, 2020 at 10:01 am

    Exactly, a bunch of suburban and rural baby adults telling true urban dwellers what the source of crime and strife is in the community that these children just moved into whilst we’ve been here for decades. But, no the idealistic youth have all the answers. Err, until they get robbed or assaulted and then they become hypocrites and call the police. Wait, I thought you said ALL cops are bastards so why are you suddenly calling them?

  • A Gopher
    Oct 20, 2020 at 9:58 am

    This isn’t kindergarten, grow up and learn that your foolish ways need to be called out just as harshly as when Trump is spreading his lies. The truth is that BLM has a terroristic side and the police, while imperfect, are trying to stop crime and restore order. People who have never lived in the ghetto, never dealt with real strife are now lecturing everyone on imagined insults to their virtue. Meanwhile, crime on campus is skyrocketing and you continue to misidentify the true problem. Now, why have you spent all this money on your education if you will not think analytically for once in your short life?

  • Tom
    Oct 20, 2020 at 5:56 am

    Oh wow a bunch of naive children are now experts at something they have little to no understanding of.

  • Tom
    Oct 20, 2020 at 5:56 am

    Nah he’s right. You people are insufferable.

  • Laker2000
    Oct 19, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    Wow! why so much hatred. Take a deep breath… now exhale 🙂

  • A Gopher
    Oct 19, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    What do the hell do you know about police work? Bunch of spoiled brats who can’t stop virtue signaling to each other all while performing only the advocacy projects where you are safe and comfortable. How many of you live over North Minneapolis or Phalen-Payne in St. Paul? Volunteer to help black kids in the hood? Nope, rather you will always choose a safe and ultimately meaningless way to show your intentions while never performing a meaningful service. Stupid kids!