New Barriers Going Up At George Floyd Square

June 04, 2021

By Richard Schertzer

On Thursday, crews removed concrete barriers that were blocking traffic at a Minneapolis intersection where a memorial for George Floyd was made after his death at the hands of Derek Chauvin, according to the Associated Press

It took the crews less than four hours to clear the barriers, artwork and other items surrounding the memorial. City spokeswoman Sarah McKenzie said a fist sculpture, which stands several feet tall, will remain. The city said the effort was led by a community group known as Agape and several city departments were involved.

The intersection had been closed down from traffic since Floyd’s death and after the concrete barriers were removed, traffic briefly flowed through the intersection Thursday morning, while many people were frustrated over the fact that the barriers were being removed. Man chanted and sang Floyd’s name. 

Police were not visible or seen at the intersection on Thursday morning. Mayor Jacob Frey said avoiding clashes between activists and police was of utmost concern, and going forward, the police will patrol the area just like any other neighborhood in the city. 

Frey said a phased reopening of the intersection was necessary to promote healing, restore area businesses, and provide social and city services that have been lacking for a year. He said artwork from the memorial will be preserved, and that the city wants to ensure the location where Floyd died “never has tires run over it again.”

Shots were fired in the area last week, just hours before an event to mark the anniversary of Floyd’s death. One person was injured.