Caretakers of Floyd memorial site speak out against reopening streets

A person speaks into a megaphone.
Jeanelle Austin, a lead caretaker of the George Floyd memorial, speaks during a press conference Saturday, as community members demand that city officials wait to reopen the intersection of 38th and Chicago.
Christine T. Nguyen | MPR News

Community members overseeing the George Floyd memorial site at 38th and Chicago in south Minneapolis gathered Saturday to speak out against any plans to remove barriers protecting the site where Floyd was killed by police.

At one point city officials had discussed a phased re-opening of the intersection, which has been blocked off to traffic since Floyd's death in May. On Friday, city leaders said they will have more discussions with the community before moving forward on any plans.

And the people who gathered at the memorial site on Saturday outlined a list of 24 items — “concrete actions of justice” — that they want the city, county and state to address before the barriers are removed.

A crowd of people stand in a street.
A crowd gathers at the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue to listen to a press conference on Saturday.
Christine T. Nguyen | MPR News

Their demands include steps to create more accountability for police officers, and transparency in the investigation of police killings. They call for the creation of "an office of independent investigation and prosecution for Minneapolis law enforcement," appointed by the governor.

The list also calls for the recall of Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, and for investing money into the neighborhood around the memorial site.

And they say that no matter what — the closure of the intersection should remain in place until after the trials of the four former police officers charged in Floyd's death.

City staff are set to give an update on discussions about 38th and Chicago during a City Council Policy & Government Oversight Committee on Thursday.

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