The University of Minnesota will not include race in the descriptions of most of its upcoming crime alerts.
According to MinnPost.com, University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler recently made the announcement in a campus-wide email:
"We have heard from many in our community that the use of race in suspect descriptions in our Crime Alerts may unintentionally reinforce racist stereotypes of Black men, and other people of color, as criminals and threats. That in turn can create an oppressive climate for some members of our community, a climate of suspicion and hostility."
"Where the information is too general to advance that goal, we will note that only a limited description of the suspect(s) is available."
University Vice President Pam Wheelock said in another email that some people feel more comfortable with full descriptions in the crime alerts, but added:
“But others—particularly Black men—have shared that suspect descriptions negatively impact their sense of safety. They express concern that Crime Alerts that include race reinforce stereotypes of Black men as threats and create a hostile campus climate.”
According to Minnesota Public Radio, the University of Minnesota announced in 2014 that it would not stop using racial descriptions in crime alerts.
“I believe that a well-informed community is actually an asset,” Wheelock said at the time. “And we try to be as complete as possible about our descriptions.”
In December 2013, black students at the University of Minnesota complained that too many of the crime alerts mentioned black males, reported KARE 11.