The Minneapolis Police Department apparently will not enter the so-called “Free State of George Floyd” to respond to crimes.
In the early morning hours of April 29, a woman was pushed out of a window during a domestic dispute on the corner of East 38th Street and Elliot Avenue, sustaining multiple injuries, according to a police scanner watchdog. The woman dialed 911 to get help but was told that police would not come to her aid because she was inside George Floyd Square, an autonomous zone which has designated itself “cop-free.”
“Is it possible to have her move at least a block away, maybe [to] 38 and 10th?” a responding police officer can be heard asking dispatch in a recorded radio conversation.
“She is bleeding and cut everywhere, but we’ll call her back and ask her to move a block away,” the dispatcher responded.
The map below illustrates the scene of Thursday morning’s events. The large red zone is the four-block area referred to as “George Floyd Square,” the Free State of George Floyd, and several other names.
Where the woman was located features some of the zone’s most significant barricades. Protesters have constructed a guard hut, placed concrete barriers around the square and even created anti-vehicle hedgehogs similar to those used in war.
This was not the first time emergency responders have been unable to enter the George Floyd zone to render aid to victims of crime.
After Dameon Chambers was shot during a Juneteenth celebration at the zone, EMTs were barred from helping. Police “ultimately had to pull Mr. Chambers to an area where the ambulance could access [him],” according to a city document, per the Associated Press.
A similar situation unfolded when a pregnant woman, Leneesha Columbus, was struck by gunfire in the zone. Responders were unable to get to her. “We’ll meet at 34th and Elliot, see if we can get the victim extracted to a closer location to us,” an officer told dispatch during the incident, per the Minnesota Reformer.
Both Columbus and her child died as the police were staging half a mile away.
Imaz Wright was also slain in a gang-related shooting in the Free State on March 6. Police were told that both Wright and another victim who did not die would be carried to the edge of the zone, apparently so law enforcement would not enter.
Those who try to live and work in the Floyd no-go zone have also had their lives destroyed.
“The police, fire trucks, can’t come in here,” said a man who owns Smoke in the Pit, a business located inside the zone, the New York Post reported. Smoke in the Pit is indicated by an orange marker on the map above.
Seventy-five percent of the businesses inside the zone are black-owned. They “feel they have been the sacrificial lambs” of the city’s unwillingness to clean up the crime-ridden area as their enterprises fail. However, those who run the Free State of George Floyd say that gang members are doing a fine job of maintaining order.
Members of the Bloods, one of America’s most ruthless criminal organizations, “keep us safe in their own way,” said Phil Khalar, a member of the body that oversees the zone, the Post reported. According to Khalar, those who say the zone has destroyed their livelihoods are just creating “a false narrative.”