George Floyd Site Now Anti-cop Zone
On May 25th of 2020, George Floyd passed after a police officer named Derek Chauvin, used excessive force while arresting him. Following his death, there was a massive surge of protests all around the country to change the future in honor of him and others who have died from police brutality. These protests often divulged into riots and left a long trail of injuries and property damage in their wake.
However, in the place where Floyd lost his life, it went far beyond broken windows and protest signs, "left-wing militants have reportedly turned a memorial site for George Floyd in Minneapolis into a ‘volatile’ autonomous zone — where police and even other protesters aren’t welcome.” This zone is being called George Floyd’s square. The zone covers several blocks, is fully barricaded, and is unwelcoming to all police officials, media, and most public.
Minneapolis resident Kim Griffin said in an interview, "the situation at the memorial, from what I understand, is its kind of volatile. People that want to go and support doesn’t feel a sense of inclusion. There is more of a militant-type atmosphere over there and a sense of fear.” Griffin also said that her nephew, Imez Wright, had gone to the square in support and was caught in the crossfire, activists then blocked the cops or medical aid from reaching him and he passed away. Griffin added, “Police were not allowed to get into that area; he was carried out outside of the zone of George Floyd Square. It was made clear law enforcement was not welcome to penetrate that zone, which is an atrocity because his life was taken, and I mean who knows whether or not he would have survived had things been different.”
While trying to fight for justice, another life was tragically lost because of the rules and conditions enforced by leaders of the zone. According to the New York Post, “those guarding the zone have refused to reopen the area unless the city meets a list of 24 demands — including recalling the county prosecutor and dedicating hundreds of thousands of dollars into fighting racism, supporting affordable housing, and creating jobs.” Responding to this, Jeanelle Austin, a leader of the autonomous zone said, “it’s really incumbent upon our city leadership to really look at the needs behind the asks” and see that they are hoping to cause long last change for the better through these demands. The city has promised to reopen the zone after the trial for Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with Floyd’s murder, is concluded. Marica Howard, a retired marine, said, “Injustice closed these streets, and only justice can open them back up.”
The violence that is seen being perpetrated by the left should not be allowed to continue. Civilians taking over an entire area and not allowing access to cops who are sworn to protect shows just how far the ideals of Black Lives Matter have become rooted into these people. The trial is underway and the city is unlikely to meet all of the rioters' demands so the reintegration of the autonomous zone into the city is an active story with as of now a questionable ending.