Minneapolis city crews are once again trying to reopen the intersection dubbed “George Floyd Square” in an attempt to restore traffic to the area that was shut down for almost a year as a makeshift memorial and place of protest.
After giving up on a first attempt to reopen the square last week, city workers came back to the intersection at 38th Street and Chicago Avenue to take away makeshift blockades that were sectioning off the streets on Tuesday.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported, “Crews moved in with front-end loaders and brooms just before 5 a.m. to move ‘debris and trash piles’ out of the way, said city representatives. They were on scene for about half an hour.” The crew members did not interfere with the memorial objects or makeshift gardens.
By 5 p.m. on Tuesday night, per the outlet, normal vehicular traffic had not restarted at the area as protesters came and obstructed the streets around the intersection.
Last week, as The Daily Wire reported, Minneapolis crews began to take away a large part of the memorial that was created over the past year at the intersection where George Floyd died.
Once the crew was finished, however, “protesters began parking cars and piling pallets in the streets again,” per the Star Tribune.
One resident told the outlet that she thinks the city should complete the requests of the activists and look at forever changing the flow of traffic around the area.
Local business owners and other residents, however, are pushing back against the actions of the protesters, saying that their neighborhood should return to normal. Ivy Alexander, owner of Smoke in the Pit barbecue restaurant, wants to see the intersection open.
“I’m upset because people who are not a part of this community just came in and decided what we wanted to have here,” Alexander said. “I didn’t get to make a nonprofit. I don’t get donations. I haven’t been getting money hand over fist. If you’re fighting for the community … you wouldn’t be holding down this block where all these businesses are … but everybody got their own agenda.”
“The City’s three guiding principles for the reconnection of 38th and Chicago have been community safety, racial healing and economic stability and development for Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and other communities of color,” Mayor Jacob Frey, City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins, and City Council Member Alondra Cano said in a statement last week. “We are collectively committed to establishing a permanent memorial at the intersection, preserving the artwork, and making the area an enduring space for racial healing.”
As reported by The Daily Wire in April, after a little over 10 hours of deliberation, a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in relation to the death of Floyd.
On May 25, 2020, Chauvin and three other officers arrested and detained Floyd after he allegedly gave counterfeit money at a convenience store. Following a struggle to get Floyd into the back of a police cruiser, viral video shows that Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck and back for nearly nine minutes to detain Floyd while awaiting paramedics.
The reopening of the intersection has been an intense debate for some time as local residents experience crime and lack of business while activists push their own requirements for reopening.