|Posted by JJ The Psychotherapist on April 22, 2021 at 8:20 PM|
Businesses owned by African-Americans at the intersection where George Floyd was killed by police last year — now known as George Floyd Square — say they are in desperate need of funding.
Police have abandoned the blocked-off intersection at 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, according to black merchants, creating a dangerous autonomous zone where crime has risen and business has dwindled.
The owner of Smoke In The Pit restaurant told The Washington Post on Thursday that the city had put him in danger.
The merchant, who only wanted to be identified as Alexander W., said, “They locked us up on here and left us behind.” for fear of retaliation
He stated, "They left me with no food, no water, and nothing to eat." “The cops and fire trucks won't be able to get in here.”
The intersection was almost deserted on Thursday, save for a few tourists who posed for photos in front of a mural outside Cup Foods, the convenience store where Floyd allegedly passed a counterfeit $20 bill.
At least five businesses along one block have closed their doors. The owners and employees of most of the stores that are still open were afraid to speak to The Post.
Richard Roberts, who works at the nearby Worldwide Outreach for Christ church, said, “Look around, things are empty.” “What can we do about it?” says the narrator. ”
“It's good and bad at times,” Roberts explained. “It isn't going to stop the violence.”
The black-owned businesses claim that since the Floyd memorial popped up shortly after his death, they have lost 75 percent of their business, and have even launched a GoFundMe fundraising page in a desperate attempt to stay afloat.
According to the fundraising page, the merchants "believe they have been the sacrificial lambs" in the city's response to Floyd's death.
“We must not forget the fight for economic justice of (a) once-thriving community in the fight for justice,” the page said. “We business owners understand that the fight for justice must include not only justice from the legal system, but also justice for the businesses affected.”
To allow for the construction of the Floyd memorial, the city barricaded the intersection.
The merchants' complaints, according to Phil Khalar, a member of the group that oversees the memorial, are part of a "false narrative."
He explained, "It's not like we're telling delivery drivers or customers not to come in." “Violence has always been present in this area.”
Members of the Bloods gang, according to Khalar, "keep us safe in their own way."
Residents and businesses, however, complain that the area has recently become more lawless, with left-wing militants and gang members turning it into a "volatile" autonomous zone.
Last month, police said they would retake the intersection and restore safety, but gave no timetable, according to the Star-Tribute.
Even after a jury convicted ex-Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin of murder and manslaughter charges in Floyd's death on Tuesday, it has yet to happen.
The Square's business is bad, according to a Giant Express Laundromat employee.
“No one knows for sure who is in charge,” he said. “It's like a labor union.” One person is chosen as a leader one week, and if they are unfit, they are removed.”
He continued, "The black and white community has now made this a hangout place to come and grieve." “A memorial should be built, but something must be done.”