MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Crews have removed concrete barriers, artwork, flowers and other items from a Minneapolis intersection that became a sprawling memorial to George Floyd, whose death last year at the hands of police galvanized the racial justice movement.
It took the city crews less than four hours on Thursday morning to clear the intersection at 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, informally known as George Floyd Square. The intersection has been closed to traffic since the 46-year-old Black man was killed there on May 25, 2020.
A group of protesters gathered at the site and put up makeshift barriers after crews cleared the concrete blockades. They listened to speeches and chanted “no justice, no peace.”
The community group Agape, which contracted with the city to keep watch over the area, coordinated the clearing of the intersection, according to city spokeswoman Sarah McKenzie. A fist sculpture, which stands several feet tall, will remain, McKenzie said.
Some neighborhood residents and others have expressed frustration that the intersection has been closed to private and transit vehicles for nearly a year.
Former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted in April of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck for about 9 1/2 minutes as he pleaded for air while handcuffed face down on the street.
Chauvin has also been indicted on federal charges alleging he violated Floyd’s civil rights, as well as the civil rights of a 14-year-old he restrained in a 2017 arrest.
The three other former Minneapolis police officers involved in Floyd’s death were also charged with federal civil rights violations. They await trial in state court on aiding and abetting counts.