Several businesses in the location where George Floyd died are now suing the city of Minneapolis for neglecting to protect the area from crime.
The lawsuit, which was filed in mid-November, states that “the area lacks police protection,” and businesses are now seeking $1.5 million in damages.
They also claim that the value of their properties dropped from around $2 million before Floyd’s death to around $200,000.
One of the businesses involved in the lawsuit is Cup Foods, the store where Floyd attempted to use a fake $20 bill to make a purchase, which led to the police call that caused the confrontation between Floyd and Officer Derek Chauvin. Other businesses part of the lawsuit include a tobacco store and an investment business.
The owners of Cup Foods and several other businesses near George Floyd Square are suing the city of Minneapolis, alleging that concrete barricades and the lawlessness that flourished within them cut their income and crushed their property values. https://t.co/z9WezJuU0X
— Star Tribune (@StarTribune) November 28, 2023
The lawsuit names Mayor Jacob Frey and other Minneapolis officials and accuses the city of not policing the area after Floyd’s death. It also accuses the city of blocking the intersection, now called George Floyd Square, with concrete barriers for more than a year after he died, preventing customers from entering.
“The mayor, the city, the city council, and the Minneapolis Police Department collectively agreed to severely limit police response in the barricaded area surrounding plaintiffs’ businesses,” with police only responding to serious calls, according to the lawsuit.
“Criminals know the area lacks police protection, and they have now made the area so dangerous that it has become known as the ‘No Go Zone,’” the lawsuit states.
The mayor’s spokeswoman Ally Peters issued a statement assuring that Frey was doing everything he could to keep the area safe.
“When we finally did open the street, the city did so in a planned way where no one was hurt and the area remained safe for residents,” Peters said.
A spokesman for the city also responded to the lawsuit by pointing out that, in the aftermath of the riots and the pandemic, they offered services to businesses such as forgivable COVID loans, enhanced technical assistance, and more connections to external resources such as relief funds. The loans offered were worth $1.5 million.