THE charred ruins of the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct still remains abandoned over two years after George Floyd’s death.
It was at that site where former MPD police officer, Derek Chauvin worked before his firing on May 26, 2020, just one day after Floyd died under his knee.
Protestors took to the street in the days after Floyd’s death, looting stores and setting businesses ablaze. MPD officers at the Third Precinct were told to empty their desks and lockers.
On the night of May 28, 2020, nearly 2,000 people gathered at the vicinity of the building and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey gave the order for police to evacuate the precinct.
“Death to one of our officers or the general public, that was not a consequence I could have on my watch,” Frey told Fox 9.
The building was set ablaze and looted. To this day, it remains fenced off and boarded up. Only four people were indicted in connection to the burning of the precinct, according to the District of Minnesota US Attorney’s Office.
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Community members held a meeting, asking residents if they wanted to see the Third Precinct rebuilt as a new police station, however, 75 percent of neighbors said no.
The neighbors who denied the request said it was because rebuilding would glorify the history of what happened that night.
“It’s such a painful wound over there,” said Ingrid Rasmussen, the lead pastor at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.
“That building has sat completely still for two years. It’s been surrounded by barbed wire.”
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Rasmussen told WCCO “it’s hard to imagine a way forward” given the “communal trauma” that happened at that location.
However, Anne Jones, one of the 25 percent who voted to bring police back to the site, argued that the building is centrally located in the precinct and the residents need services nearby.
But she said she didn’t want policing in the precinct to go back to what it once was.
“I think we could reintroduce public safety to this community in a way that could be positive and constructive,” she said.
Neighbors have suggested making the site a job and financial training center, affordable housing, or used as public land.
Plans are still up in the air about what the site will be used for, according to the city of Minneapolis but they hope to collaborate with the community.
Chauvin was sentenced to 22-and-a-half years in prison. He was given credit for the time he served.
The former cop spoke to the court briefly before his monumental sentencing.
"At this time due to some additional legal matters at hand I'm not able to give a full statement at this time, but very briefly though I want to send my condolences to the Floyd family," Chauvin said at the time.
"There's going to be some other information in the future that would be of interest and I hope things will give you some peace of mind."
Chauvin's mom, Carolyn Pawlenty, also spoke, telling the judge "my son is a good man."
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Members of Floyd's family also spoke in court, including his seven-year-old daughter, Gianna, who issued a statement in a pre-recorded video.
"I miss you and I love you," she said.
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