Memorial garden near Winston Smith shooting site is removed

The property owner cited ongoing destruction and violence as reasons it removed the tribute to Smith and Deona Marie Knajdek Erickson.
The memorial garden for Winston Smith and Deona Marie on July 2.

The memorial garden for Winston Smith and Deona Marie at West Lake Street and Girard Avenue South on July 2. 

The memorial garden created for Winston Smith after he was fatally shot by law enforcement in Uptown, Minneapolis, has been removed. 

The garden, at West Lake Street and Girard Avenue, has been growing since two U.S. Marshals task force members shot Smith on the top level of a parking ramp while they were trying to arrest him on June 3. The garden also pays tribute to Deona Marie Knajdek Erickson, who was killed when a driver plowed through protesters at the intersection on June 14. 

But on Wednesday, property owner Seven Points Uptown (formerly Calhoun Square) removed the garden, citing the "continued destruction of property, violent acts, arson, noise ordinance violations, and blocking access to Uptown residents and businesses."

The area has been the site of ongoing protests since Smith's death. 

Seven Points said these factors created an "unsustainable and unhealthy situation." 

The property owner has posted on Facebook a few times since June stating its commitment to allow the garden to stay indefinitely — so long as things remained peaceful and safe — while they work toward a "permanent tribute," stressing that "continued property destruction" and blocking access to businesses and homes is "unacceptable."

Related: For second year in a row, the Uptown Art Fair has been canceled

The property owner said Wednesday it made the decision to remove the garden "in collaboration with" neighbors, community stakeholders and the City of Minneapolis.

"The priority must be the health, safety, security and overall wellbeing of all of our neighbors, businesses, employees, tenants, customers and visitors," the statement said. 

Video and photos posted to social media show a skid-steer loader and other machinery were brought in to remove the garden, and police on bicycles were at the scene. 

In a statement to Bring Me The News, the City of Minneapolis spokesperson Casper Hill said: 

"Seven Points leadership reached out to the City for counsel on how to initiate the process of restoring their private property to a state of full operation for their tenants and patrons. The decision was collectively made to move forward on July 14 with private contractors hired by Seven Points.

"Minneapolis Police Officers were stationed on nearby streets for the duration of the morning to ensure a peaceful transition. The City of Minneapolis is aligned with Seven Points and the families of Winston Smith and Deonna Marie in creating a permanent memorial dedicated to furthering racial justice and honoring their memory."

The city came under fire in June for removing the memorial created for George Floyd outside of Cup Foods after police murdered him. The city hired the Agape Movement to help reopen 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, but suggested it was a community-led effort. 

Next Up


Vikings come from behind for resounding win over Seattle

Kirk Cousins was lights out and Alexander Mattison didn't a miss a beat in place of Dalvin Cook.

Cheryl Reeve

One and done: Lynx season ends with playoff loss to Chicago

Minnesota was faced with a one-and-done situation despite owning the league's third-best record.

Dalvin Cook

Vikings: Dalvin Cook is OUT of Seahawks game

The star running back hasn't recovered from an ankle injury.


Boy arrested after making threats towards school in Anoka

An image shared on Snapchat warned of the "best school shooting yet."

Ambulance hospital emergency

Four killed in crashes after deadly start to weekend on MN roads

The latest figures show there have been 349 road deaths in Minnesota this year.


In crackdown on unruly passengers, Delta urges other airlines to share no-fly lists

The airline says it's a bid to "further protect airline employees across the industry."

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

St. Cloud State student-athlete suspended from team following alleged assault

The incident reportedly took place off campus on Sep. 18.

Gopher Football

U of M-barrassed: Gophers shocked by Bowling Green

The Falcons snapped a 21-game non-conference winning streak in front of a homecoming crowd.

Andrew Wiggins

Andrew Wiggins applies for exemption to COVID vaccine, is rejected

Wiggins could miss a large chunk of the season without the vaccine.


Twitter permission - uptown minneapolis lake hennepin june 4 2021

Developing: Protestors block roadway near site of Winston Smith shooting

The busy intersection was shut down around 4 p.m. Friday.

Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 6.30.24 AM

Woman in car with Winston Smith says he raised his cellphone, not a gun

Investigators claim Smith showed a weapon before sheriff's deputies fatally shot him.

Winston Smith scene

Growing calls for transparency over law enforcement killing of Winston Smith

Attorneys representing the passenger who was in the car with Smith claim he didn't have a gun.

Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 6.30.24 AM

Medical examiner report of Winston Smith fatal shooting released

The 32-year-old died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 6.30.24 AM

Friends identify man fatally shot by authorities in Uptown as Winston Smith

Official confirmation of the man's identity has not yet been released.

Winston Smith scene

BCA: Undercover agents fatally shot Winston Smith; no video found

Anyone who may have video of the shooting is urged to contact the BCA.

Flickr - Winston Smith memorial uptown June 4 - Chad Davis

Court documents reveal more details from Winston Smith death scene

Two weeks after his shooting, the circumstances remain murky.

Screen Shot 2021-06-14 at 8.45.06 AM

Charges: Drunk driver accelerated 'to jump barricade' in crash that killed protester

Prosecutors say it was "an extreme and violent intentional act."