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Residents Near George Floyd Square Demand MPD Respond To Calls For Help

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It has been a place for mourning and healing for thousands who have come from all over to visit George Floyd Square, Reg Chapman reports (3:25). WCCO 4 News At 6 - April 30, 2021

Video Transcript

FRANK VASCELLARO: Once again, people who live near George Floyd Square want to know when Minneapolis police will respond to their calls for help. Early Thursday morning, a domestic assault victim called 911 for help. Even though she was cut and bleeding, she was told to relocate a block away so police could get to her. As Reg Chapman reports, her story is similar to others in the area, who wonder when officers will make it inside the "no-go zone" to provide much-needed service.

REG CHAPMAN: It has been a place for mourning and healing for thousands who have come from all over to visit George Floyd Square. But for people who live here, once night falls, they say it becomes a place where lawlessness abounds. Scanner audio from Thursday morning tells a story of a domestic assault victim calling 911 for help from her home near 30th and Elliott.

- Is it possible to have her move at least a block away, maybe 38th and 10th?

- Copy. She is bleeding and cut everywhere, but we'll call her back and ask her to move a block away.

- Unfortunately, that's the normal in this neighborhood post-George Floyd.

REG CHAPMAN: We played the audio for Kimyia Whitehead-Partee, who says she had a similar experience. A domestic situation forced her to run out of her home, leaving her daughter behind. She made it to 40th and Bloomington when someone called police. After filing a report, police would not give her a ride home near 30th and Chicago.

KIMYIA WHITEHEAD-PARTEE: It was like, well, we can't take you, we can't go there. And I'm like, what do you mean you can't go there? I want somebody to go to my house and check on my child. And he was like, no, we can't go there. They dropped me off on 35th and 10th at 1:00 in the morning and made me walk here.

MEDARIA ARRADONDO: The best public safety remedy right now is to open up and get that intersection flowing again.

REG CHAPMAN: Last month, Chief Medaria Arradondo said officers continue to patrol the area, while he works with community stakeholders to figure out when to open up the intersection.

JACOB FREY: We're evaluating that timeline every single day, and ensuring that we have the right resources on the ground, and ready to be put into action, in order to ensure safety at this intersection and a continued place of racial justice and healing.

REG CHAPMAN: While the city tries to figure out what to do, residents say they are forced to continue living in a war zone.

KIMYIA WHITEHEAD-PARTEE: Who wants to live somewhere where you can be a victim of crime and nobody comes to help you?

REG CHAPMAN: Reg Chapman, WCCO 4 News.

FRANK VASCELLARO: Mayor Frey says he is working with others to align a phased approach to reopen 38th and Chicago. He says they have taken steps to increase both law enforcement presence and community services in that area. Frey also says the city is committed to memorializing the legacy of George Floyd at that intersection.

Minneapolis police say a young boy is in the hospital fighting for his life right now after a shooting. It happened at 34th and [? Moorgate ?] in North Minneapolis this afternoon. Community leaders tell us the boy is just 10 years old. Police will not confirm that, but did say he was sitting in a car when the gunfire erupted. There's no word on any suspects this afternoon. Police are asking anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers. We've put that number at the bottom of the screen.

AMELIA SANTANIELLO: Calls for justice in the George Floyd case continue in Minneapolis. Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder last week. These protesters are now looking ahead to the trial of the other former Minneapolis police officers who were on scene that day. Here's a look at the gathering outside the Hennepin County Government Center this evening. Black Lives Matter, along with other local groups, organized a protest. They want Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng found guilty of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter, and they go on trial in August.