Minneapolis Removes Memorials and Barricades From ‘George Floyd Square’

On Thursday, a representative of Cup Foods praised the city’s move to reopen the area to traffic.

“Businesses can once again thrive,” said Jamar Nelson, who has worked as a spokesman for Cup Foods since Mr. Floyd’s death. “Now, hopefully, a memorial can be put in place, to respect the Floyd family and the community.”

Danielle Fabunmi, 48, who lives about six blocks away from the intersection, stood in front of Cup Foods on Thursday and watched city workers dismantle the memorial. She said she felt the city had bowed to pressure from businesses and residents worried about crime.

“I kind of always knew that it wasn’t going to last, but I’m pretty hurt because there needs to be a reminder of what happened here,” Ms. Fabunmi said. “They’re really feeling that a lot of these memorials are kind of getting in the way of business, so that’s to be understood, but also, there’s something larger at hand.”

Ms. McKenzie, the city spokeswoman, said the changes would allow traffic to flow through the intersection again.

“We certainly acknowledge this intersection will never return to normal,” she said, “but we’ve heard from residents and businesses that really need to reconnect their neighborhood.”

The scene on Thursday was at times tense, with some activists yelling at city officials as they removed the barriers. “No justice, no streets!” one said. But later, the crowd grew more relaxed, with one activist handing out coffee and doughnuts. No uniformed police officers could be seen as the demolition took place.

Steve Floyd, an adviser to the Agape Movement, said the changes were important to move the city forward.

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