City crews once again reopen George Floyd Square in Minneapolis

Public works crews last week removed barricades, but activists put some back up.

Crews again moved to reopen George Floyd Square early Tuesday morning, marking the second attempt in a week to open the intersection that's been closed since police killed Floyd. 

City of Minneapolis crews were at the intersection of 38th and Chicago at around 4:50 a.m. removing items, KSTP reports.

As of 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, the intersection was still open to traffic, except for northbound Chicago, with the fist in the center of the intersection creating a roundabout.

But MPR notes that there are efforts underway to block the street again. Garbage carts and other debris were pushed back out onto the streets within minutes of the departure of city crews.

The intersection has served as a memorial and community space since police killed Floyd on May 25, 2020. But there have also been complaints from local residents about crime and violence at the site, and city leaders said earlier this year that the intention was to reopen the square to traffic while maintaining a memorial to Floyd.

Last week, on the morning of June 3, the Agape Movement with the help of the city moved to reopen the intersection without any notice, but activists soon moved in an put barricades back up, blocking the intersection to traffic once again.

In a news conference after the effort to reopen the intersection, Mayor Jacob Frey wouldn't give a timeline on when the intersection would fully reopen. 

“The full reconnection is not going to happen all at once,” Frey said Thursday, noting jersey barriers were removed and debris and trash were cleaned up. “I acknowledge that it will be a bit touch and go and difficult over the next several days.”

Frey said the reopening of the intersection, including the effort Thursday morning, is a partnership between Agape and the city, noting the timing of it all was decided as the plan was taking shape. 

Frey had contended that the reopening of the square was a "community-led initiative" with the Agape Movement – which describes itself as "bridging the gap between the community and law enforcement" – driving the move.

But the group came in for criticism from activists at the square after it emerged that the Agape Movement has a contract with the city, with the Sahan Journal reporting that this includes up to $30,000 for outreach and engagement work, while the New York Times reported related contracts between the Agape Movement and the City of Minneapolis total up to $359,000.

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