Riots and protests broke out on Thursday after city officials began taking apart George Floyd Square to reopen the section for traffic. At the same time, a wanted man was killed in an officer involved shooting.
Protests had already been occurring at George Floyd Square where workers were busy dismantling barriers and opening the roads again for traffic. There was pushback from those who were there protesting and some barriers were replaced.
By 9:00 a.m., people had already reinstalled a makeshift barricade—traffic cones, a folding table, and trash containers—on Chicago Avenue at the north end of George Floyd Square. “The fight does not stop,” said Jeanelle Austin, a volunteer with the George Floyd Global Memorial. pic.twitter.com/yUhpIuYC9Q
— Sahan Journal (@SahanJournal) June 3, 2021
People were expressing anger at the removal of the zone, even though Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey had promised that there would always be a memorial located in front of Cup Foods. He said in an update on the 38th and Chicago area that they would be preserving the fist statue that stands in the middle of the square.
After news of the shooting of Winston Smith reached protesters, things turned a little more violent. Protesters gathered at the scene of the officer involved shooting and shouted expletives at police officers and investigators. Police tried unsuccessfully to disperse the crowd.
Later Thursday evening, some rioters vandalized buildings, while several businesses in the area reported that they had been broken into.
According to Daily Mail, rioters and protesters used cars and motorcycles to block off streets before law enforcement could arrive. Nine were arrested on charges of suspected rioting, arson, and assault. Police had to fire tear gas to clear the area after the rioters lit dumpster fires in the street.
This occurs after over 700 Minneapolis buildings were damaged during the riots in May 2020.
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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | Star News Network and The College Fix. She graduated with a degree in Communications from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. Send news tips to [email protected]
Photo “George Floyd Square” by Chad Davis. CC BY 2.0.