Updated: March 17, 2021 06:10 PM
Created: March 17, 2021 04:00 PM
Wednesday afternoon, law enforcement leaders from local and federal departments came together to announce a new plan to reopen George Floyd Square in Minneapolis and hold those who are committing violence accountable.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo recognized it's an important area for many people but acknowledged that violence there has gotten out of hand, calling it "staggering and unacceptable."
Arradondo, along with the U.S. Attorney's Office, Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, FBI Minneapolis Field Office and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said the focus will now shift to restoring order in the area.
"I'm putting them on notice, enough is enough. Our community will not tolerate this anymore," Arradondo said when asked about those contributing to the violence.
However, Arradondo didn't say when the intersection would actually reopen, only saying, "It's not a matter of if, it's when it happens and it'll be forthcoming," and adding that there's a lot of communication and intelligence-gathering going on.
Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota W. Anders Folk pledged to use every tool and federal statute to hold people accountable.
Robberies and assaults in the area jumped over 300% last year from 2019, with gunshots and victims also dramatically increasing.
After the announcement, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Councilmembers Andrea Jenkins and Alondra Cano issued a statement supporting the efforts.
"When our neighbors and residents are crying out for help, we need to listen and act," Jenkins said in the statement. "We will carry on steadfast in our work to advance racial justice and support community healing. But we also need to curb the spike in violent crime, and this support will help us do that
Cano added, "In the last several weeks I have received hundreds of urgent pleas for help from diverse business owners, residents, and George Floyd Square supporters begging us to take action to stop the violence that has steadily engulfed this community. Birthday parties for young children abruptly abandoned. Vulnerable residents sleeping in their bathtubs for protection. Our actions to keep this community alive and safe go hand in hand with our steadfast commitment to achieve justice, I'm thankful for this partnership to stop the violence."
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