The intersection between Chicago Street and 38th Street in Minneapolis is now called George Floyd Square – where Floyd was killed during a high-profile police intervention on May 25 last year. The intersection has become a memorial, a symbol of racism and the oppression of black people in the United States, and human rights activists have called for police reforms before it can be reopened.
On Thursday, the concrete foundations that closed the area began to be removed, as did the artwork and flowers that people decorated in the area. Some activists opposed the opening and tried to stop street workers when they began removing barricades.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said it will take several days before the intersection fully opens again.
– We have great confidence that we must rebuild and we intend to do so, he said at a press conference.
The artworks that filled the intersection will be preserved, according to the city — and some will remain on site. A roundabout was created around a statue erected in the middle of the intersection, depicting a clenched fist.
“We have jointly committed to establishing a permanent memorial,” the city wrote in a statement, describing how the memorial will become a place to heal wounds after racial conflicts.
The authorities have always wanted to raise the bar, but they were waiting for the trial of police officer Derek Chauvin, who killed George Floyd. Chauvin was convicted in April and will be sentenced in late June.
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