As the City of Minneapolis works to clear the memory of the In what was an interesting dichotomy, the same day the one-year-old street monument to George Floyd was cleared by Minneapolis workers, a task force of law-enforcement officers in Minneapolis shot and killed another Black man.
The suspect was wanted for a gun possession charge officials said. Authorities did not immediately release the name of the man killed in the shooting, but a woman who said she was in a longtime relationship with him identified him as Winston Boogie Smith Jr., a 32-year-old father of three.
After Thursday’s shooting, a small crowd gathered in the neighborhood, shouting expletives at police. Later in the night, people vandalized “numerous” buildings and stole from some, Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder said. A dumpster was burned and windows were smashed.
Nine people were arrested on possible charges including suspicion of riot, assault, arson and damage to property, police said.
In an interesting dichotomy, earlier that day, Crews on Thursday removed the concrete barriers that blocked traffic at a Minneapolis intersection where a memorial to George Floyd was assembled after his death last year, but community activists quickly put up makeshift barriers and resumed chanting the name of the Black man whose killing galvanized the racial justice movement.
It took the crews less than four hours to clear the barriers, artwork, flowers and other items from 38th Street and Chicago Avenue where Floyd was killed, informally known as George Floyd Square. City spokeswoman Sarah McKenzie said a fist sculpture, which stands several feet tall, will remain. The city said the effort was led by a community group known as Agape and several city departments were involved.
The intersection had been closed to traffic since Floyd’s death in police custody on May 25, 2020, but some residents and businesses expressed frustration that it had been closed for so long.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said a phased reopening of the intersection was necessary to promote healing, restore area businesses, and provide social and city services that have been lacking for a year. Frey made no comments about the shooting death just a few hours later.