MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minneapolis City Council admits there is no consensus between the city and community groups about the future of the intersection of East 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, where George Floyd was killed while being detained by police on Memorial Day.
The intersection is now a memorial to Floyd; a sanctuary of reflection, healing and hope. The city has been meeting with activists, neighborhood and community groups about how to re-open the intersection, and what it would mean going forward.
The Minneapolis City Council’s Policy and Government Oversight Committee met Thursday. Lisa Bender is council president.
“When we talked about bringing this item to this committee, there wasn’t time to notice a public hearing, so there hasn’t been a public hearing notice for this item,” Bender said.
There was no public comment, only a staff presentation. Minneapolis Public Works Director Robin Hutcheson is part of the committee.
“In order to provide safe access to visitors of the site, the city placed barricades to through traffic, while also insuring ADA and emergency access,” Hutcheson said.
Community leaders presented a list of two dozen demands to the city as conditions for removing the barriers, including space for mourning and art, equitable community development opportunities, and long-term vision, including a memorial among others.
“We’ve heard so many perspectives about this intersection, both short- and long-term desires and what is needed,” Hutcheson said.
The city believes reopening is necessary to improve community access and support public safety. Options for consideration include re-opening East 38th Street only, preserving the community-constructed roundabout and the artwork in the intersection, moving the garden and sculpture to the north, and preserving more of the memorial space that already exists on 38th Street.
Community leaders say they do not want city leaders making decisions without including them in the conversation.