The ‘George Floyd Square,’ an area that was once a makeshift memorial for George Floyd, the man who died while in Minneapolis Police Department custody last year, has now been turned into a “police-free autonomous zone” controlled by left-leaning anarchists. Protesters and authorities in the area have said they don’t even feel comfortable near the area, noting that it has a sense of a “militant-type atmosphere” and lingering fear similar to what happened in Seattle last year. Only the radical left would use a controversial police case as an excuse for anarchy.
The zone is off-limits to police officers and law enforcement officials, who have already been dealing with numerous protests and resistance in the area. The George Floyd Square has also blocked emergency services from getting in, even after a young man was shot and killed from inside, then carried outside the zone’s poorly constructed barricade.
Even reporters have been hushed away from documenting and filming the scene. NewsNation’s Brian Entin was trying to report from the other side of the barricade when a masked protester warned him with violence for even being near the area. “‘You’re going to be in a bad situation in a second. You’re being called out for what you are, and you need to get out of here. You need to get in your car and go,” the protester told Entin.
National Police Association spokesperson Sgt. Betsy Brantner Smith told police that the “autonomous zone” set up at the intersection of E. 38th Street and Chicago Avenue has had ongoing violence in the area since last summer. This is the spot where a bystander had recorded the viral video showing Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck.
“George Floyd Square is now an autonomous zone. They just had a homicide there. There are businesses especially near the Third Precinct — that was allowed to burn down — that get robbed by the same people two to three times a week. There are citizens who just can’t get police services,” Smith said.
How can @GovTimWalz think this is okay when the law-abiding citizens of Minneapolis can't walk freely in their own state? https://t.co/pinW8xSu5W
— American Conservatives (@AmConservatives) March 12, 2021
Police, however, have already moved away from the neighborhood in order to prepare for the rioting and protests during the trial of ex-cop Derek Chauvin, the man charged with George Floyd’s death. Jury selection is currently in progress at the Hennepin County Government Center.
The Minneapolis City Council also approved a civil lawsuit brought by Floyd’s family for $27 million, in a vote of 13-0. They filed it back in July 2020 against the city and police department of Minneapolis, along with Chauvin and the four other cops at the scene.
Floyd’s family said they would be donating $500,000 to be spent on “community efforts” near George Floyd Square. This is one of the largest police payouts in Minnesota history, along with a 2019 lawsuit brought by Justine Ruszcyk Damond’s family that settled for $20 million. The family of Breonna Taylor was also awarded a $12 million settlement.
City leaders are still looking for ways to reopen the autonomous zone and get into the area, although the occupying protesters said they plan to stay there until all four officers are tried, a process that could still take several months.
While left-leaning politicians allow protesters to continue rampaging and destroying community areas, Republicans are looking at ways to get into the area to save taxpayers money, time, and most importantly, their right to move around freely in Minneapolis.