Statement from President Gable on the shooting of Daunte Wright

April 12, 2021

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

Yesterday’s fatal shooting in Brooklyn Center of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, brings pain, fear, anger, and anxiety flooding back to our community. Another police shooting of a Black man and the related protests in several areas of our community overnight make the struggle painfully clear. Black members of our community face circumstances that put their lives at risk every day. This must stop, but will only end when each of us accepts that we all have a role to play in building a more equitable, safe, and welcoming community.

Daunte Wright’s death, occurring during the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, compounds the trauma so many members of our community are feeling. We hear and understand that people are exhausted, and that it is difficult to remain hopeful in the face of these events. We also know that the comfort and understanding of our colleagues and peers can help. As you continue to move through your days, please ask for the help that you need. If you supervise the work of others, please generously provide flexibility and support, recognizing that we will process this differently–some may want to talk about how they are feeling and others will simply need time to process things individually. The University is here to support all members of our community through these trying times.

Some University community members have asked about campus safety broadly and if University of Minnesota Police Department (UMPD) officers were involved in the law enforcement response last evening. Both the Brooklyn Center Police Department and the UMPD are members of the West Command Task Force, an interagency group of law enforcement in Hennepin County. Last night, UMPD, as well as other members of the task force, received a request for support from the Brooklyn Center Police Department. Along with those other members, 12 officers of the UMPD were in Brooklyn Center but are no longer onsite.

Please be well.

Joan Gabel