Minneapolis, Minnesota became the epicenter of societal upheaval last year in the wake of George Floyd’s death while in the custody of the police.
Recent reports indicate the city has yet to fully recover, with recent updates indicating that a man was fatally shot a short distance from the site of Floyd’s death.
Shooting in “autonomous zone”
The shooting reportedly took place near an “autonomous zone” in the city described as an area in which white individuals were not allowed. Reports indicate the Black victim was shot on Saturday after getting into a heated altercation with the suspected shooting.
Known as George Floyd Square, the location of the shooting has been set up as a memorial near the intersection where Floyd died during a police stop last Memorial Day. The area also doubles as an autonomous zone being policed by activists.
Following the shooting, those activists reportedly barred white individuals from entry for the supposed purpose of encouraging “healing.”
Similar so-called autonomous zones have cropped up elsewhere, including in Seattle, Washington, over the course of a year punctuated by often violent protests against racism and police brutality.
The Washington Examiner described Minneapolis as a city scarred by unrest that has manifested over the weeks and months following Floyd’s death. Many residents are increasingly expressing fear of gangs and other rabble-rousers entering their neighborhoods from out of town.
“This isn’t their neighborhood”
“We live here,” declared local resident Teresa Stiller. “We want to live here. This isn’t their neighborhood. I’ve had bullets whiz by me right here. I have post-traumatic stress disorder now. Whenever I hear a loud noise, I either start crying, or I duck.”
Tensions have mounted in recent days ahead of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, seen on viral video footage with his neck on Floyd’s neck shortly before the suspect’s death.
When officers arrived at the scene of the shooting, police spokesperson John Elder confirmed that they were “met with interference” by those within the zone.
Whereas cops expected to pick up the victim at the boundary of George Floyd Square, they reportedly found that he had already been whisked away to an area hospital. Another person believed to have been injured in the shooting was not immediately located.
As Elder explained: “This appeared to be a very directed attack or assault. And we’re unaware of this being a threat to the community. They had an argument. And so, it appears that there may have been some previous knowledge of one another.”