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Talks continue on reopening 38th and Chicago in Mpls.

City leaders are meeting this week to discuss a phased reopening; neighbors say their demands should be met first.

MINNEAPOLIS — The intersection at 38th Street and Chicago Ave. in Minneapolis, Minnesota has been closed since the night of Memorial Day, May 28th, when George Floyd was killed in police custody.

Minneapolis city leaders plan to meet Thursday to talk about a phrased reopening plan for the intersection, which would remove concrete barriers that are currently in place.

It comes days after the city put removal plans on hold in order to continue talks with the community.

In a press release, Minneapolis leaders said the barricades were put in place in May to help keep visitors safe. However they say the phased reopening is now necessary to support public safety as well as improve community access and mitigate neighborhood and business impacts. 

The press release also noted several efforts by the city to honor George Floyd and residents of the area, including recognizing 38th Street as a cultural district, allocating $250,000 for a community project to build a permanent memorial and a recommendation to rename Chicago Avenue between 37th Street East and 39th Street East. 

At a Saturday press conference, Minneapolis Community Members of George Floyd Memorial Square that have been working and maintaining the autonomous zone acknowledged and empathized with neighborhood safety concerns, but said they are not willing to trade safety for justice.

They group says the area is not a museum, but a significant site where people are still grieving and protesting. 

The Minneapolis City Council plans to provide an update at a scheduled meeting on Thursday, Aug. 20. 

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