If you ever have a case where you want to remove files from a git repo without deleting the files in the process, you can do this:

  1. Add the files or folders to you .gitignore

  2. run git rm -r --cached /path/to/your/dir

Be sure to have --cached in there, though, or you will not only remove the files from the repo, but from the working tree as well.

Thanks to the Git Group on Google for confirmation.

Also, be sure to update the .gitigore else when you commit, you will recommit your folder.