MINNEAPOLIS (AP/WCCO) — The federal government has denied a request from Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz for federal funds to rebuild and repair fire damage from the unrest that followed George Floyd’s death.
Walz’s spokesman Teddy Tschann confirmed that the request for federal aid was denied.
“The Governor is disappointed that the federal government declined his request for financial support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help Minnesota rebuild after civil unrest damaged public infrastructure and caused extensive fire damage in the wake of George Floyd’s death,” said Tschann.
Walz had asked President Donald Trump on July 2 to declare a “major disaster” in a request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency because of extensive damage to public infrastructure following the death of Floyd on May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee against the handcuffed Black man’s neck for nearly eight minutes. Four since-fired officers have been charged in the case.
A preliminary assessment of damage found more than $15 million of damages directly related to the fires. Around 1,500 businesses were damaged. Among the public structures destroyed was a Minneapolis police station that was a focus of the protests.
“As we navigate one of the most difficult periods in our state’s history, we look for support from our federal government to help us through” Tschann said in a statement.
Current estimates of the total damage exceed $500 million, the governor wrote in his disaster aid request.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey released this statement on the matter Sunday:
The people and businesses that make Minneapolis the cultural and economic engine for our state are hurting. And with local government budgets already stretched thin by the pandemic, the need for compassion and support from the federal level could not be more critical. National leadership must also step up and cannot ignore their responsibility to our residents amid a historically difficult period.
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