George Floyd’s death prompts change at MSU Mankato

Updated: Jun. 2, 2020 at 1:29 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - One week after the death of George Floyd, the chair of Minnesota State University Mankato’s Department of Government, Dr. Pat Nelson, is speaking out about what needs to happen to prompt a change moving forward.

“Cultural change in law enforcement is going to have to come from every realm. It can’t just be departments it can’t just be the federal government mandating it. It can’t just be education. All of us have to work together to make that cultural change happen,” says Nelson.

MSU’s Law Enforcement Program curriculum undergoes review regularly to make sure it remains relevant, and just days after the death of George Floyd more changes are already in the works.

Since 2017, many changes to the curriculum have been made based on current events. That includes adjusting their Policing in A Diverse Society course to an upper-level course to allow for a deeper conversation. Now they’re planning to take that one step further, by putting a larger focus on officer intervention.

“One of the conversations we’ve had is talking about intervening if you’ve seen things happen by other officers. and I can assure you that we have five of us that we have professional experience that we have stories of intervening and how hard it can be but you need to do it, and it can be intervening from a very small thing to a very major thing,” says Nelson.

The department is also talking about possibly creating continuing education to put out to law enforcement agencies about first-line leadership, ethics and intervention as an outside academic source.

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