UMPD releases squad car footage in response to incident involving a student leader

The student alleges that UMPD officers racially profiled him.

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A screenshot from UMPD vehicle footage on Monday, Feb. 1.

Ava Thompson

The University of Minnesota Department of Public Safety released footage from a squad car on Wednesday in response to community accusations that officers racially profiled and harassed a student. 

Shortly before 2 a.m. on Feb. 1, UMPD approached a student who they believed may have fit the description of a suspect in an armed robbery that occurred earlier that night. 

A student government leader who is a person of color reported that he was approached by UMPD cars as he was walking through Dinkytown. The student believes he was stopped by police because of his race. The Minnesota Daily is not naming the person at this time due to his concerns of retaliation.

The student was wearing a dark jacket. According to the student, a white male with a black coat was also nearby.

An officer can be heard saying, “It’s a white male, dark hoodie, but he doesn’t have a mask.” It is unclear if the officer is referencing a person on the sidewalk or the suspect’s description. 

A few seconds later, police cam footage shows the police vehicle turning the corner of Fifth Street Southeast and 11th Avenue Southeast with lights flashing. The student was then stopped and questioned by two police officers, according to UMPD.

“If I would have left the situation, what would have happened?” the student said. “I am so tired of the police terrorizing students.”

The student alleges that officers exited their vehicles with their “hands on their guns” and described feeling cornered. 

“We just had a robbery of a person and you kinda match the description, as far as someone wearing a dark hoodie,” said an officer in the footage. 

In the video, the student tells officers he is a University of Minnesota student and offers to show his student identification. An officer then says he believes the student and that he was “good to go.”

The interaction has prompted a campus-wide response, including from student organizations like Students for a Democratic Society, which called on Joan Gabel and the Board of Regents to condemn UMPD’s “acts of profiling, escalation and terror.”

In an email reviewed by the Minnesota Daily, UMPD Lt. Troy Buhta responded to the student stating that video footage of the incident “does not fit the narrative” of the student’s complaint.

This is a breaking news report. More information may be added as it becomes available.