The site where George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis Police Department officers in May, which is now a memorial, has become a hot spot for violence at night, and police officers don’t respond to calls in that area, according to the New York Times.
Floyd was killed in south Minneapolis outside a store called Cup Foods. Store employees called police after Floyd allegedly used a counterfeit $20 bill to pay for cigarettes. A large memorial to Floyd has stood in that area for the past two months, and it’s peaceful during the day. At night, it’s a different story.
“What people aren’t recognizing is that people who live there are having a very, very challenging time from the unlawfulness that is occurring after the sun goes down,” Minneapolis City Council member Andrea Jenkins said. “There are constant gunshots every night. Emergency vehicles can’t get in. Disabled people are not able to access their medications, their appointments, their food deliveries, et cetera. It’s a very challenging situation.”
City officials and local police don’t want to inflame tensions by clearing out the memorial, which is what happened in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014 when police faced a similar situation after the police killing of Mike Brown. But the lack of police presence is causing a dangerous situation for the people who live nearby.
The Times spoke to a woman named Bianca Dawkins who lives in the area and says she fears for her family with the violence that occurs nightly:
But financial worries are only one thing on her mind. She has two children, including a 6-week-old baby. She says the daytime is fine, and she has met many people who have traveled to pay their respects to Mr. Floyd.
“But when the other crowd comes at night, I can’t call the police, and that scares the hell out of me,” she said. Ms. Dawkins pointed to a gunshot in the windshield of her car, a gold sedan.
“We have kids in this home, so I do want police to protect families,” she said. “It’s a hard balance. I’m happy this incident brought change, but I want to feel safe.”
The Minneapolis City Council has been moving toward dismantling the city’s police department and replacing it with a different, unspecified model for public safety, described as “a department of community safety and violence prevention, which will have responsibility for public safety services prioritizing a holistic, public health-oriented approach.”
(H/T: Hot Air)