Interim Chancellor Foley states resolve ‘to be better’ in statement on Laquan McDonald’s death

Interim UM System President Mike Middleton released a statement earlier in the day, saying, “We have challenges to face and we will face them together.”

Protesters have taken to the Chicago streets after the city released the dash-cam video from the October 2014 shooting of Laquan McDonald.

McDonald, 17, was shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer who was charged with first-degree murder earlier this week. The video was released Tuesday afternoon and shows McDonald veering away from the officers when he shot.

In response to the video, interim Chancellor Hank Foley and interim UM System President Mike Middleton both released statements to MU students via email.

Dear Mizzou family:

President Middleton’s message to the whole University of Missouri System is copied below. I feel as he does today.

Dr. Stokes, Professor Henson and I have also seen the video of Laquan McDonald’s death. At the intersection of our public roles — as leaders, teachers, scholars — and our private roles as parents and as people, we feel that same grief that President Middleton has expressed and that millions of other Americans feel today.

To our students, especially to those from the Chicago area, we are saddened with you. To those students from our state, the midwest region and the nation, as well as to those who come to us from other parts of the world, please know we care for you too. Also know that on this day, the day before a holiday of national thanksgiving and reflection, we are resolved to become better, much better for all.


Hank Foley

Interim Chancellor

To all members of our University of Missouri family,

I have seen the video of the shooting of Laquan McDonald in Chicago. I grieve for his family, and grieve with all victims of violence. My heart goes out to our many students who come from Chicago. We will all soon return from our Thanksgiving holiday to our university. I pray that our reunion will continue the productive work of forging a stronger relationship within and outside of our immediate community. We have challenges to face and we will face them together. In the meantime, let us be thankful for the privileges we share in being able to work and study together and let us be mindful of the opportunity to build a relationship that in the fullness of time will make it possible for us to attain a university we can all imagine.


Michael Middleton

Interim President

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