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Milwaukee schools will end funding for police patrols

MILWAUKEE (AP) — School board members in Wisconsin’s largest school district have voted to cut ties with police officers who patrol outside its schools.

The move by the Milwaukee School Board late Thursday comes in the wake of protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis who died after being restrained by police.

The district received more than 700 emails and letters overwhelmingly supporting the resolution, the Journal Sentinel reported.

MPS has paid officers to patrol neighborhoods around some schools, monitor dismissals and staff some athletic events. Unlike some other districts, the officers are not posted inside the schools.

More than $1 million was budgeted for police contracts in the 2019-2020 school year and more than half was directed to school resource officers.

About $400,000 was set aside for a state-mandated anti-truancy and anti-burglary initiative. It’s not clear whether MPS can terminate that contract since its state mandated.

School districts in several cities have terminated police contracts or taken steps toward that end, including Minneapolis.

The death of Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, has sparked worldwide protests over police brutality and racism. He died after Derek Chauvin, a white officer, used his knee to pin down Floyd’s neck for several minutes as Floyd pleaded for air and eventually stopped moving.

MPS serves nearly 75,000 students.

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