Updated: April 29, 2021 07:11 PM
Created: April 29, 2021 03:47 PM
Barricades and other security measures put up around buildings ahead of the Derek Chauvin trial are starting to come down in downtown Minneapolis.
On Thursday, crews were working outside the Hennepin County Government Center to remove the concrete barriers, fencing and barbed wire protecting buildings.
"This isn't being guarded like it's some prison," said Dantashia Murdock, who lives in downtown Minneapolis.
"I'm glad they are [coming down], I think people are so tired of them," said Roland Geske, who lives in Minneapolis.
For the last several weeks, the enhanced security measures were in place as the city and state awaited a verdict in the Chauvin trial.
Murdock says lately the neighborhood has felt completely different.
"I was down here about three weeks ago before we got the verdict and it was heavy," she said. "Very heavy, there was no interaction. It was very serious."
As protests went on peacefully, Operation Safety Net believes they met their goal, avoiding massive property destruction around the metro.
"I just thought it was completely unnecessary, it wasn't needed," Murdock said.
"Of course with the trial, just a sad feeling with all the boarded-up buildings and windows, which was understandable," said Kim Bergen, who works downtown. "They needed to do that."
As buildings like the Hennepin County Government Center return to what they used to look like, Bergen hopes it's a sign of things to come.
"I choose to work downtown and I miss that energy," she said. "I miss all the other people."
"I think there will be a lot more people, a lot more business," Geske said.
But many agree with the pandemic, it might just take a little more time.
"I think everybody wants to see more people, we want to see the businesses come back and it takes people to do that," Bergen said.
The plan is to have all the extra security fencing and barriers down at the Government Center and Minneapolis City Hall by early next week. With Chauvin's sentencing in June, Operation Safety Net has said that they could ramp up security again around that time.
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