Shame at the Sociology Department

Apparently two of the four Minneapolis police officers on the scene of the death of George Floyd not only attended the University of Minnesota, but were students in . . . the Sociology department! This has caused something of a crisis for the department, as you might imagine. The leadership of the department has reportedly asked grad students not to make any comments to the media about the two officers, or how the department clearly failed in their primary mission of indoctrinating these two pre-officers into proper socialism.

One Ph.D student in the department is not happy about any of this, and issued this Tweet thread:

2 of the police officers charged with aiding and abetting the murder of George Floyd were previously students in the Sociology dept. at the University of Minnesota.

Yesterday, my dept. sent the grad students an email requesting we stay silent if contacted by media. Y’all. (1/n)

My fellow grad students have issued excellent email responses to that request calling it out for what it is: an attempt to cover-up something that is politically unfashionable in this moment. 2/n
Our dept has a Law, Crime, and Deviance track that is actively marketed to students as a path to law enforcement. So this dept. is actively recruiting and training folks who go on to join the MPD and other law enforcement agencies in Minnesota and beyond.
If you actively market your courses to folks who want to be in law enforcement, you have to accept the consequences down the line. When those officers kill/abuse/main citizens, you can’t shy away from your role in that 4/n
Several of my grad school colleagues have realized that they were instructors/TAs for the two officers and are sick about it. But this is what it is. The Soc dept. has to stand in this and choose a path forward. 5/n
Either they can continue to actively market the LCD major as a path toward law enforcement or they can choose to divest from that practice. But what they can’t do is request my complicity and silence about their failures 6/n.

Last thing: this thread is going to burn bridges for me and I’m probably going to get emails about it.

That’s just what it is. But I’m not going to stay silent about Black deaths and white complicity.

Pass the popcorn. Wish I could be in the sociology department faculty meetings over the next few weeks.

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