Updated: October 08, 2020 10:22 PM
Created: October 08, 2020 09:35 PM
In early June, cement barricades went up around a four-square-block area surrounding the George Floyd Memorial at East 38th Street and Chicago Avenue and those barriers are still in place.
But, some business owners in the so-called “autonomous zone” want those barricades to come down citing slower business and dwindling customers creating financial strain.
Jamar Nelson, a spokesperson for Cup Foods, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the store’s proprietor also owns three other businesses inside the barricaded area.
“They want the barriers down and they want them down yesterday,” Nelson said. “Cup Foods and other businesses are losing tens of thousands of dollars every month because crime has gone up inside the area that’s blocked off and customers do not feel as safe coming in there as they once did.”
Nelson said the business owners want a dialogue with Mayor Jacob Frey and the Minneapolis City Council to come up with a plan to start removing the barricades immediately.
“They cannot continue to watch crime rise in the blocked off area with their eyes wide shut,” Nelson said. “If they do not do something and do it quickly, those stores and businesses will be gone because they will get fed up and just leave.”
In a letter to Frey and the City Council, the attorney for the owner of Cup Foods said the “city had created a lawless zone” and businesses have suffered real financial losses as a result of the city’s “negligence.”
The city, as a rule, does not comment on threatened litigation or filed, unresolved lawsuits.
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