In a press conference on Tuesday afternoon to address the new autonomous zone in Uptown Minneapolis, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said that they want to advance racial justice but that they need to “acknowledge that the atmosphere has substantially changed.”
The second Minneapolis No Go Zone was established after Winston Smith was killed by U.S. Marshals after he pulled a gun and resisted arrest.
Frey said, “We cannot allow the unauthorized closure of streets. When there are not clear delineators of where you can drive and where you can not, it risks people getting hurt.” Mayor Frey emphasized the use of “de-escalation tactics” in the continued policing of Uptown and surrounding areas.
Frey discussed the continuing removal of the barricades and he said that the barricades were removed and will be removed again, but that they did not have a plan to do so at that time, calling the street being blocked a “major safety concern.”
During the same press conference, Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender said that they will stand with Winston Smith’s family in demanding transparency. She also shared that there were “shortcomings of relying on a police-only system of safety.” Bender stated that last summer the use of force against protesters and journalists “rightfully” caused larger protests and more chaos.
Local residents and business owners are frustrated with the response from the city government, with some residents reporting being afraid to leave their homes.
One business located off of Lake Street and Girard Avenue, where the No Go Zone is, Juut Salon, announced that they will be permanently closing their doors due to “safety concerns.” The business had been there for over 35 years.
The owner and founder of Juut, David Wagner, confirmed the closure in a Facebook post, writing that, “We decided to close due to the continued escalation of crime and violence in our neighborhood. I would be heartbroken if any of our team or clients got hurt.”
– – –
Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun and The Star News Network. She graduated with a degree in Communications from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. Send news tips to [email protected]