Last Updated on February 17, 2022
Minneapolis police are refusing to enter the George Floyd Autonomous Zone, with emergency responders instructing a bleeding woman who was pushed out of a window to go to them.
Known as “George Floyd Square,” or “The Free State of George Floyd,” the area surrounding the death site of Floyd has been operating as an Autonomous Zone independent from control of the police or emergency services since September last year, encompassing seven to eight blocks in total. With police refusing to enter lest they face violent reprisals from radical antifa or Black Lives Matter activists, victims of crime are left to fend for themselves, or meet police outside the zone.
One particularly disturbing incident took place at the end of last month, where a female victim was pushed out of a window in a domestic dispute on the corner of 38th and Elliot. Police dispatch audio revealed the attitude taken by police regarding breaching the George Floyd Autonomous Zone. “Is it possible to have her move at least a block away, maybe [to] 38 and 10th?” asked the police officer responding to her 911 call. “She is bleeding and cut everywhere, but we’ll call her back and ask her to move a block away,” the dispatcher responded, with the woman ordered to move, despite her severe injuries.
Here's the audio of that portion of the dispatch:
— CrimeWatchMpls (@CrimeWatchMpls) April 29, 2021
Multiple people have died within the George Floyd Autonomous Zone, with the police unable to respond to their calls. Leneesha Columbus, a pregnant black woman, was shot in the zone, and police officers set up their staging area half a mile away from the incident. “We’ll meet at 34th and Elliot, see if we can get the victim extracted to a closer location to us. And no lights or sirens, please,” an officer told dispatch. Columbus died. More recently, Imaz Wright was shot during a gang-related shooting on March 6th – police were informed that her and another victim would be carried to the edge of the zone. Wright died.
Even before the Autonomous Zone had been properly created, one man died due to “caretakers” of what was then just a memorial for Floyd blocking access to emergency services. Dameon Chambers was shot during a Juneteenth celebration last year, with city documents revealing that that police “ultimately had to pull Mr Chambers to an area” where the ambulance could gain access to.
Business owners and residents, many of them black, feel abandoned by the police and authorities. “The city left me in danger,” said Alexander W, the owner of the Smoke in The Pit restaurant to the New York Post last month. “They locked us up on here and left us behind,” he added, saying that they have no food or water either. Some of the businesses even set up a GoFundMe page, asking for donations to help them survive.
The border to the autonomous zone is currently guarded by Antifa activists. National File reported last month that the activists had threatened a reporter, telling him he would be “in a bad situation in a second” if he didn’t leave. At the border are instructions for anyone who wishes to enter, instructing visitors to “honour the space” and treat it with reverence. White people are specifically asked to “decenter” themselves, and monitor other white people for any “problematic” behavior.
White people about to enter George Floyd square are given special instructions pic.twitter.com/3gzpwqUmtS
— Matt Finn (@MattFinnFNC) April 21, 2021
The inspiration for the George Floyd Autonomous Zone, CHAZ, which sprung up in Seattle last Summer, also suffered a spate of shootings, with no response from police. One man who was shot in June even wanted to sue the police for not responding quickly enough, despite the fact that crowds reportedly resisted the police entering. However, unlike the Free State of George Floyd, which has now lasted for over 7 months, CHAZ was shut down by police after existing for just over three weeks.