Visiting the George Floyd Memorial

I wanted to start by stating this is not a political post.  Many of us have strong feelings about what happened, but my intent here is to show you the memorial and talk about how it impacted me.  A few weeks ago my daughter was affected by what happened because she lives a few blocks away from the police station that was burned and closed.  She and her partner Adrian stayed up all night to guard their home on more than one occasion, and they participated in some of the protests.  Needless to say I was extremely concerned while all of that was happening for her safety and I wanted to see for myself, where it had happened.

Also, every since we arrived we have been seeing signs and listening to accounts on the local radio. Conversations about defunding the police are ongoing and there are still places in the city where the police are refusing to go. The police station that was burned has been walled off with concrete barriers and barbed wire and continues to be unmanned.   Everywhere in the city you go there are signs and many houses have signs in front of them. There is also a small section of town where buildings were burned.  What surprised me about this area was it was so small.  From watching the news it appeared half the city was on fire, but it really was just a couple of blocks.  Not that this was OK, but I thought there would be more. Perhaps it just looks like less because it’s not concentrated, and is sort of spread out. It’s hard to say, not being residents. 

 

This target was looted and partially burned

 

A couple of buildings like this one were completely burned down

 

One of the most surprising things (for me) about his death was that it occurred at a major intersection.  It isn’t a terrible neighborhood by any standards and I would imagine it would be crowded most times of the day or night. Because the area has been closed to automobile traffic, we parked a block away and walked in.  The crowd was a mix of white and black people and they were all ages.  While we were there everyone was respectful and many people were obviously deeply impacted. 

 

The memorial space was beautifully done

 

 

 

Many visiting black people took pictures in front of this painting

 

There were also numerous signs on many of the buildings. A friend of my daughter helped paint this one

By far the most impactful thing though was the lists of names of all of the black people who have been killed by police officers.  It was written in permanent chalk along the street and the list was so long I couldn’t get a picture of the entire thing.  Walking along those names was very sobering. 

Around the corner in a lovely little park the protesters also added another memorial.  There is a headstone for every black person killed by a police officer and again this was very impactful. 

As of this writing the space is still shut down but the city is talking about reopening the road.  They are in contact with the protesters who have a list of things they would like and the family is trying to decide what to do with all of the artwork that was created.  I don’t envy any of the people who are working on this at all, because it still a very tense situation.  People are peaceful but obviously still emotionally invested and in order to maintain the peace, this needs to be done carefully. 

Minneapolis has largely mixed race neighborhoods, and white, black, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American people all live in the same communities.  Kat did say that she has met more of her neighbors since this happened and their community banded together in the face of adversity.  I, like many others, hope that something positive comes from his death and I hope that the people in the city find a way to live together peacefully. 

I welcome your comments, but any comments that are not in keeping with the spirit of this post will be deleted. 


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9 thoughts on “Visiting the George Floyd Memorial

  1. Thank you for this meaningful and well expressed post, Tracy. It must have been a very frightening time for your daughter and her partner. This neighborhood has long been in transition, and hopefully will recover its former vibrancy.

  2. Thank you….the simplicity, immediacy, intimacy and obviously heartfelt personal emotions behind these individual snapshots, and your explanatory comments have an impact that captures an important aspect of the essence of this awful and powerful event…Thank you

  3. As a 32 year veteran I decided to not post a complete comment other than I do not agree with the way Mr. Floyd was treated. I also want you to know I have two life saving awards for saving people during heart attacks. Not easy to do as only 30 percent live. I still see many during death in my dreams who did not survive. Someday we can meet and talk about all this.

    I support the Constitution in every way. Took an oath to uphold it in the military and as a police officer many times. Ninty nine point nine percent of officers are good guys. There are separate situation for each police involved deaths to include fellow officers I buried.

    Good you could visit the site of Floyd’s death. Discussion is important to include not silencing counter opinions.

    • P.S. I should have also added in my comment
      the photo of names killed is a terrable thing. Unfortunately a fact of life is there is violence. I zoomed in on the names in the photo then checked news reports of the shootings. Noting the news media is half wrong most of the time, the first two names I were able to to read in the photo included one charged cops on video with a kitchen knife and the second ran from a robbery of a gun and was shot when the officer felt threatened in seeing the gun during the chase. Both ruled justified by prosecutors. Again, terrable events.

  4. The real truth is somewhere in the middle…Mr. Floyd wasn’t nearly the innocent murder victim that one side claims or the hardened violent career criminal the other side claims. He was…according to the latest video released…saying he couldn’t breathe well before he was put on the ground…and he was only on the ground because he refused to get into the patrol car. Neither he or the cops ar solely to blame for his death…and as noted in another comment some of 5he “black men killed by police” were attacking the police with a weapon.

  5. Pingback: Sixth Year – The Emotional Arc – Camper Chronicles

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