Minneapolis businesses in George Floyd Square ‘autonomous zone’ to receive $ 1 million bailout
As city of Minneapolis moves forward with million dollar bailout companies suffering under an autonomous zone in George Floyd Square, Mayor Jacob Frey received a stern warning on Thursday for outsiders seeking to come incite violence during the trial of ex-policeman Derek Chauvin.
“With the full national presence there will be more people in our city and there will be an increased National Guard presence,” Frey said at a press conference. “We want to be very clear to anyone who is considering coming from out of town or out of our state, to anyone who thinks they will attempt to bring chaos and destruction to the city.
“It will not be tolerated. They will be arrested. I want to send this message loud and clear. “
The trial of Chauvin, charged with murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death, continues for the fourth day above the 18th floor of the well-fortified Hennepin County Courthouse.
Meanwhile, black business owners in renowned George Floyd Square at the intersection of Chicago Avenue and East 38th Street have come together to demand a change in what was once a memorial outside of Cup Foods – where Chauvin was seen in the viral video of spectator pressing a knee for Floyd’s Neck – but has become a self-sustaining area that has brought gun violence and gang activity to the neighborhood for months.
“Second, we continue to make substantial progress in the 38th and Chicago,” said Frey, pivoting to the autonomous zone that plagued residents in the wake of Floyd’s death. “Right now, the city is set to move forward with a series of $ 50,000 interest-free, no forgiveness loans to businesses that have been significantly affected over the past seven, eight and nine months. “
A Minneapolis City Council committee recently unanimously approved a proposal to reallocate $ 1 million – about half of the city’s budgeted small business loan pool – to small businesses and nonprofits. behind the concrete barricades originally placed by city workers around George Floyd Square to protect the crowds. car traffic protesters, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Under the proposal approved by the Business, Inspections, Housing and Zoning Committee, every business or nonprofit in the area would be entitled to $ 50,000 interest-free loans that borrowers would not have to pay. reimburse if their organizations remain open for a year. The plan is expected to go to a board-wide vote next week.
“As we plan to reconnect the 38th and Chicago, this will not just be an initiative of the Minneapolis Police Department, and quite frankly, it is really focused on our communities who are stakeholders who live and do business there. “Said police chief Medaria Arradondo. . “We have to meet the public safety needs there, and we cannot tolerate any violence that occurs there.”
The intersection was co-opted by activists who say law enforcement is not welcome and EMS responders have been delayed to respond to victims of bloody gun violence inside. In February, the National Police Association filed a lawsuit on behalf of local residents demanding that Minneapolis officials abide by the city charter to maintain police patrols in the neighborhood.
The FBI, the Minnesota District Attorney’s Office, and the Office of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), St. Paul Field Division, have all pledged resources to monitor the area on last month.
“Community members can expect to see more public safety – they can expect to see it accelerate as the coming weekend approaches. Not just in the city center, but in all four parts of the city, ”Arradondo said Thursday, describing the police operations as the trial continued. “We are entering phase two. As I stand before you today, there have been no arrests or destruction of property in connection with the trial. “
The director of public works also spoke at the press conference to present the findings of a recent poll asking residents of Minneapolis what they want to see with the intersection reopening.
“We got a very high response rate, with 81% of respondents supporting one of the two interim options. A total of 685 responses were received: 40% of responses supported the first option, which would move the first sculpture out of the intersection in the northeast corner of Chicago, 41% of the survey responses supported the second option, which would keep the first sculpture. at the intersection, 16% of the responses did not support either of the two options and rather indicated a desire for justice before any change. “
Stepping on the podium a second time, Frey said there were many differences between when Floyd’s video went viral in May, referring to major riots across town, and now, during the trial.
“The biggest difference is that we have had time to prepare,” said the mayor. “I am very satisfied with the sequence of events that have taken place so far. People peacefully expressed their First Amendment rights. We believe this is an example to follow. “
In late May and early June, Minneapolis saw a lot of people coming from out of state who came to cause destruction, Frey said, adding, “I want the message to be very clear. If you now plan to come to our city, whether during this trial, during the jury’s deliberations, or after the verdict, and you are going to cause chaos or destruction, you will be arrested.
Responding to a question from the reporter, Frey replied “no” when asked if he was watching the trial.
“Ensuring the safety and security of our city has been a primary concern,” he said. “We are more than this trial. Our residents are more than witnesses. The conversations we have are more than just cross-examinations. When we say goodbye, we are not delivering a closing argument. “
The mayor said evidence shows the riots seen in Minneapolis last summer were at least partially linked to white supremacist groups.
“There were a number of individuals on the Texas field, in some cases associated with the Boogaloo boys and known white supremacists,” Frey said. “There has been a significant and coordinated effort to cause chaos on the part of these outside groups. A typical example is the shooting in the compound. “
Jayla Whitfield of Fox News contributed to this report.