0606 poll results

The Free Press

A majority of area respondents say they support the way the city of Minneapolis is reclaiming George Floyd Square, according to a Free Press online question.

Out of 254 total respondents, 221 voters — more than 87% — say they agree with the way Minneapolis is handling the situation. Another 33 voters opposed the city’s actions.

Minneapolis workers and some community members removed concrete barriers on Thursday at 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, the intersection where George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police. The area, known as George Floyd Square, had been closed by community members last year after Floyd’s murder.

The area was open to traffic for a bit Thursday morning before community members put up new barriers. While some residents and businesses have urged the city to reopen the intersection, others say the area should remain a permanent memorial to Floyd.

City officials say they plan to keep one of the statues at the square as a monument. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said the city plans to keep artwork at the area and ensure the location where Floyd died “never has tires run over it again,” The Associated Press reported.

The Free Press online question sent out Friday asked: “Do you agree with the way the city of Minneapolis reclaimed the intersection at George Floyd Square?”

There were two options to answer, “yes” or “no.”

Commenters largely agreed the city was right to reopen George Floyd Square, though some commenters took issue with how other commenters described the people who shut down the intersection.

Some commenters described the broad coalition of protesters who demonstrated after Floyd’s death as a “black mob” and called the Black Lives Matter movement a “racist, terrorist” organization despite the movement’s aim to bring to light systemic racism in policing, fiscal policy and other avenues of society.

“The city did the right thing, should had been done a year ago,” William Ulrich said. “It’s time to clean up the black mob.”

“I would agree, but not for the racist (by definition of what it really is) reasons given below,” Paul Brandon wrote. “The problem is that there is no clear single representative of the neighborhood community. Lacking that, it’s a public thoroughfare and should be maintained as such for the whole Minneapolis community. A monument consistent with this use is clearly appropriate.”

“Get over it,” Richard Pyzick wrote. “Start focusing on our veterans of all races that give their life for our country.”

Beverly Stoufer wrote, “Yes, it is time to open but what communication was done with the community? This lack of communication, transparency, and involvement tends to be a continuous problem.”

Timothy Berg wrote, “As a young minister of the gospel, I preached a sermon way back in 1974 with the basic premise that God loves all persons unconditionally regardless of skin color and that Jesus lived that credo out in his life by loving and ministering to one and all. Within one week in response to that sermon, I received death threats aimed not only at me, but at my wife and our 4-year-old daughter. Almost a half century later I had hoped that God’s love and word might have softened a great many hearts on the question of racism in our country, but after reading several of the comments on this topic, I am sadly afraid I may have been overly hopeful. Jesus wept ... and so do I.”

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