Minneapolis pauses reopening of 38th and Chicago

    The intersection where George Floyd was killed at 38th Street and Chicago Avenue has become a memorial to Floyd. Photo by Max Nesterak/Minnesota Reformer.

    The city of Minneapolis has paused its plans for a phased reopening of 38th Street at Chicago Avenue — where George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis Police officer in May — citing concerns from a neighborhood group.

    Last week, city employees told a handful of community leaders and business owners the city would reopen 38th Street next week, and eventually, Chicago Avenue.

    Neighbors put up barricades at the intersection after they said police cars drove through the Floyd memorial in the middle of the night. On June 2 the city put cement barricades at entrances to the square to keep pedestrians safe. The intersection has become a sacred spot visited by thousands to honor Floyd and support racial justice.

    While members of an informal neighborhood group called Meet on the Street and city representatives had been in talks about removing the barricades, no consensus had been reached last week when city officials told them about their reopening plan. Meet on the Street responded with a racial justice resolution saying they would not “cede these streets” until the city met at least some of their demands and would take the protest to other neighborhoods if they didn’t.

    The list of demands includes recalling Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, firing several Bureau of Criminal Apprehension employees and investing $700,000 in the George Floyd Square zone through neighborhood associations for training and to create new jobs for young people.

    Since then, city leaders have met with authors of the resolution, and put out a press release Friday saying its reopening plans are “on hold to allow for continued discussions with community members.”

    Meet on the Street has said the intersection should remain closed until after the trial of four former police officers charged in Floyd’s murder.