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MSA calls for the resignation of UMPD Chief Matthew Clark

In a letter addressed to University administrators, MSA asks Chief Clark to resign after his failure to “increase campus wellness and safety for students of color.”
UMPD chief Matt Clark on Jan. 29, 2018.
Image by Jack Rodgers, Daily File Photo
UMPD chief Matt Clark on Jan. 29, 2018.

The Minnesota Student Association is calling for the University Police Department Chief Matthew Clark to resign due to his alleged refusal to “reform” UMPD and communicate with student leaders in addressing issues of policing on campus.

In a letter addressed to President Joan Gabel and Senior Vice President Myron Frans, MSA demands that Clark immediately resign and an interim chief who is “committed to diversity and inclusion, community control of policing [and the] demilitarization of UMPD” replace Clark during the hiring process.

The letter also noted Clark’s lack of response to an incident of racial profiling of a Black student that occurred at Hanson Hall.

“In his five and half years as Chief of Police at the University of Minnesota, Matt Clark has repeatedly and unequivocally disregarded student demands, failed to increase campus wellness and safety for students of color and has allowed the utilization of UMPD as a physical arm of the oppressive state to subjugate and silence community members both on and off campus,” the letter reads.

This move comes after UMPD officers were found assisting Brooklyn Center police with crowd control tactics during protests that followed the police killing of Daunte Wright. President Gabel confirmed that UMPD is a part of the West Command Task Force, an alliance of police chiefs that allows officers from other departments to assist one another.

Current and upcoming MSA leaders released a statement earlier this month demanding that the University cease its participation in the West Command Task Force after protesters were met with “excessive violence from police forces and the National Guard.”

Police and state patrol officers were seen firing pepper balls, flashbangs and tear gas into the crowds during protests on April 12.

Authors of the statement, Jack Flom and Rebecca Jacobson, said they were arrested in Brooklyn Center and detained for 48 hours after attempting to drive some protestors home.

“We were informed that Chief Clark was in charge of approving UMPD going to join other forces in Brooklyn Center on Sunday night and allowing UMPD to be utilized in that way to traumatize people,” Jacobson said. “So that, compounded with all of the other issues with Matt Clark and UMPD over the last year or more, is kind of what spurred taking action now.”

The MSA letter said that they expect a response from the University in one to two business days. If demands are not met, the letter says, they will plan “direct actions to not only ensure the resignation of Matt Clark but the transformation of UMPD.”

Student groups, such as Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), have taken to the streets to protest the killing of Daunte Wright and UMPD’s involvement in Brooklyn Center.

“Now that the trial is over, we cannot become complacent,” SDS said in an Instagram post. “There is so much work to do, and so much to win from our administration.”

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  • Flyer
    May 13, 2021 at 11:27 am

    My, my, the university “children” were traumatized?

  • Enn Arre
    May 4, 2021 at 1:53 pm

    Can this be forwarded to MSA anfd SDS students to investigate? I’m going to go ahead and guess the victim would like their phone and their peace of mind back.

    May 4, 2021 at 12:46 PM
    U of M Twin Cities: Robbery occurred at 12:15 pm near 4th and 14th Ave Se. Suspect is a male, 5’7″, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and gray pants. Suspect shoved the victim and stole their phone. Last seen headed towards University Ave. Use Caution

  • Enn Arre
    May 2, 2021 at 7:22 pm

    Just got another Safe U notification…assult and robbery in the afternoon. Can we have a real discussion about how these events would be handled if we don’t have UMPD? Does MSA have solutions, do we call them for help? So any of them have Criminal Justice degrees? Anything? I have not seen any suggested solutions so if I have missed it can someone please update me.

  • Enn Arre
    May 2, 2021 at 10:32 am

    Is see that at least two other members of MSA denounce the comments and are calling on the other silent members to voice opposition to breaking the law to “get their way”.

  • Slugslingers
    May 2, 2021 at 11:37 am

    Did he resist arrest? The left continues to glorify the criminal instead of asking what the criminal did to escalate the situation. Would she have accidentally grabbed her gun instead of her taser if he hadn’t tried to get back in his car to drive away? If he complied, he would most likely be alive.

  • Slugslingers
    May 2, 2021 at 11:33 am

    Says the side that cheered Rush dying. Hypocrisy at work.

  • Slugslingers
    May 2, 2021 at 11:32 am

    Well that’s a lie. The problem is the criminal and the people that support them. Statistics show where the real problem is and it’s the same ones who are looting and rioting. I love how your side brings up individual incidents of police brutality and the reason is that’s it’s not that common and far less common than the crimes committed by the people you support.

  • Slugslingers
    May 2, 2021 at 11:28 am

    Cops stop criminals. If during the often violent protests an illegal act is committed, then cops should assist. Maybe a mandatory class on not resisting arrest or taking drugs should be taught.

  • Enn Arre
    May 2, 2021 at 10:06 am

    Yes, that is news as well! Inciteing illegal actions should be grounds being expelled. I’m also curious as to what sanctions were taken against the student who lied about an interaction with UMPD also seems ground for being expelled.

  • MagicKirin
    May 1, 2021 at 1:03 pm

    The Administration should tell the MSA that Blue Lives Matter and that you are the racists on campus

    Diversity and Inclusion are buzz words for fascists like BLM

  • Tom
    Apr 30, 2021 at 10:12 am

    Be quiet. You don’t matter

  • Tom
    Apr 30, 2021 at 10:11 am

    No discussion of that because she’s “concerned for her safety”. What a piece of literal trash

  • Richard Turnbull
    Apr 29, 2021 at 10:26 pm

    What is your thesis, wingnut? That over decades and decades, the MSA has produced NOTHING of value to undergrads at the U?
    In any case, I don’t think you understand how onus probandi works here: YOU need to show that the MSA organization is deleterious, as it is the default setting in a university that student involvement in campus life is intrinsically valuable. Good luck with that.

  • A Gopher
    Apr 29, 2021 at 1:05 pm

    Name one initiative MSA has completed that materially effected the average student positively. Insert skeleton gif with caption “Me waiting for Richard’s spurious reply.”

  • Henk_sg
    Apr 28, 2021 at 5:55 pm

    I might misplace a decimal point and report something incorrectly and its always caught before any real damage happens. Cops make a mistake a people are maimed, seriously injured or die. They have state sanctioned power of life and death and as such should be held to a higher standard.

    There is mounting evidence that police actually are the problem. I would refer you to the 73 year old woman in Loveland CO, she weighs 80 lbs and has dementia. She was body slammed, handcuffed and hog tied be a police officer 3 times her size. Not only did they dislocate her shoulder, break her arm, sprain her wrist and leave her handcuffed to a bench in a cell for 6 hours before giving her medical attention (remember this is a nearly helpless 70 year old, 80 lb woman with dementia) officers stood around watching body cam video of the incident and made jokes about it. At one point making a grotesque joke about the moment you could hear her shoulder pop out of joint. They did this in out in the open in the station with other officers joining in the fun. Its on video. Google it and watch it if you can stomach it. The fact that they felt so comfortable doing this out in the open in the middle of the day at their station shows just how sick the police culture in this country is. And don’t give me that few bad apples crap. The barrel is rotten. The few good cops either leave or rot with the rest of them.

  • brn
    Apr 28, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    The media has chosen to represent the police in as poor a light as possible. There’s plenty of analysis out there to show that the police do not kill black men disproportionately relative to interactions or crime committed, yet the media buries that. Instead every time a black man dies at the hands of police, the national media flies reporters to the city. White man gets killed by police, it might get a mention on page 3.

    The media profits on the division they create. If the MSA is looking for a real villain, they should look at the media.

  • brn
    Apr 28, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    Mounting evidence? Police kill hundreds (last year was high at about 1000) of people a year. Some percentage of those deaths, there is an accusation of wrong doing by the police. Doctors have accusations of wrong doing causing a death 500,000 times per year. Where’s the outrage and murder charges for the medical profession? If you’re upset by the police, you should be 500 to 1000 times as upset with doctors.

    Most police officers (and doctors) do what they do because they care (well, doctors also do it for the money). They really do. Stop letting the media be your source of data. Vilifying the police makes them money.

  • Henk_sg
    Apr 28, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    I am so glad you brought up snowflakes, I just watched a video of Badass Ted Nugent whining about people saying mean things to him about his Covid diagnosis. Who would have thought a guy who loves to hate on other people like Ted does would be such a whiny little B when the shoe is on the other foot.

  • brn
    Apr 28, 2021 at 5:09 pm

    Where’s the article where Lauren Meyers asks students to use up UMPD resources by having them come to non-issues? In other words, break the law. Does she represent the MSA?

  • Tom
    Apr 28, 2021 at 10:12 am

    Sorry Richard, this article is for non mentally ill people to comment on *only*.

  • Enn Arre
    Apr 28, 2021 at 3:11 pm

    The tragic event that took Daunte Wrights’s life took place on 4/11/2021. You all know his name. Less than two weeks earlier two men were shot in Dinkytown, one dead, do you know the name of that dead young man? Did Al Sharpton pay for and speak at his funeral? Why not? Would there be too many for him to attend?

    Ask yourself why you don’t know his name. Could it be that there is no money to be found in community deaths, no fundraising by organizations to be had, no lawyers to get big payouts from civil suits?

    Is this young man’s life not worthy of us “Saying his name”?

    Is this young man’s mother not as devastated by his loss?

    Why is the death of a young man newsworthy when it involves police activity but NOT when it involves another community member taking it?

    Will more community deaths occur if we defund police because they will not be able to investigate criminal activities?

    Is this what students are really after…more community deaths??

    If you are robbed at gunpoint do you just go home and order a new iPhone and wallet?

    Do we let that person keep doing it until they accidentally or purposfully kill someone and then still not care because it was a community murder and not involving police activity?

  • Richard Turnbull
    Apr 28, 2021 at 9:27 am

    What exact kind of “virtue signaling” are you engaged in? Talk about empty rhetoric! And smearing the entire MSA leadership as well, there’s a shocker.

  • HAumnalumnus
    Apr 27, 2021 at 8:55 pm

    This is so ridiculous. Crime is skyrocketing around Minneapolis and on campus. Let’s support the police and let them do their job. I am not suggesting police do not make mistakes, just like people in all professions, but the UMPD Chief and the Department need our support and loyalty now more than ever. The police are not the problem here, they are the solution!

  • Tom
    Apr 27, 2021 at 5:37 pm

    Ok so not an answer to my question.

    “I know you are but what am I” is such a compelling argument. It’s no wonder people take you seriously.

  • CapnRusty
    Apr 27, 2021 at 4:35 pm

    Geez, it’s Spring. I would have thought all the snowflakes would have melted by now . . .

  • lance
    Apr 27, 2021 at 9:49 am

    Broad generalities would be your comment about “a bunch of wannabe activists”.

  • A Gopher
    Apr 27, 2021 at 2:17 pm

    Pot kettle black, much? Name exactly what Clark has brought to UMPD that has your panties in a bunch. The simple truth is that hypocritical students want to paint all cops as bastards, but as soon as those students are a victim of any crime they call 9-1-1 and cry for help. So which is it, are all cops truly bastards or do some cops need better training and clearer guidelines while also being allowed to pursue and arrest the criminal element that has sprung up around campus. You are supposedly no longer children, it would be nice if some of you acted with the logical part of your brain instead of the reactionary reptilian part.

  • Tom
    Apr 26, 2021 at 10:25 pm

    What does that even mean? Why do you insist on speaking in broad generalities and slogans?

  • lance
    Apr 26, 2021 at 8:58 pm

    Clark brought the worst of MPD to UMPD. No real change can come while he is in charge.

  • A Gopher
    Apr 26, 2021 at 7:24 pm

    MSA has always been and seemingly always will be a way station for gunner students looking to pad their resumes, a means to an end. Never do the MSA leaders seem actually focused on what would help their fellow students. It’s just virtue signaling and half-hearted statements. Just this year alone MSA leaders have created fictitious stories of police brutality, advocated for fake 9-1-1 calls to tie up police, and paradoxically for a both a defunding of the police and greater public safety. These are not people who give a crap about the average students’ well-being.

  • Tom
    Apr 26, 2021 at 4:39 pm

    One time someone was maybe profiled (in a place where students are robbed constantly) and somehow that justifies a man losing his job?

    The people who are a part of this should be ashamed of themselves.

  • Tom
    Apr 26, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    Idiocy from a bunch of wanna be activists looking for people and things to rage against.

    You’d have to be jaw droppingly stupid to actually believe that this campus is “unsafe for people of color”.