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Business Owners Near George Floyd Memorial Say Recent Violence Is Costing Them

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - After the incident that claimed George Floyd's life, 38th and Chicago have become known, across the globe, as a place of healing.

Peace and respect are usually requirements to enter, but something has changed lately.

"People don't feel safe, they are selling their homes, they hear gunshots and they know the police are not coming into the neighborhood," said Sam Willis Jr.

Willis, owner of Just Turkey, and Willie Frazier, owner of Finish Touch Boutique, both own businesses within feet of where Floyd took his last breath.

The owners believe their stores are suffering from a lack of customers because of the recent violence.

"It could happen anytime yesterday, like he mentioned it happened at 1 o'clock in the afternoon and it was 20 shots fired, a lady and her three children ran into my restaurant," said Willis.

"Two of my customers had to get down on the ground yesterday because of gunfire," said Frazier.

The free state of George Floyd is surrounded by barricades that these business owners believe protect the people who are doing wrong.

"Where they got the street closed off at if they find out the police can't come in there, so whatever wrongdoing they did out here outside the zone, once they make it to the zone they free police can't get them," said Frazier.

Minneapolis police have responded to incidents inside the zone and say they will continue to patrol the area in hopes of stopping the gunfire.

Both Frazier and Willis want more to be done to protect lives and bring business back to the area.

"You get shot in the zone no ambulance can't come in there, nobody can come in there and get you. I don't know if a building burns down, I don't know if they will let a fire truck come in, they might let it burn down to the ground," Frazier said.

"We know this is a prime location, you got visitors coming from all across the world and for them to experience gunshots and all types of violence is putting a black eye, not only on our state, but yet alone the city of Minneapolis," said Willis.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey made a brief statement regarding the recent turn of events.

"Violence in our streets dishonors the legacy of George Floyd and betrays the carefully built trust within a community upholding a space for peaceful healing and reflection," said Frey.

Frey says city leaders are committed to "safely bringing the intersection to a point of peace and reconnection."

Business owners have started a Gofundme page to help them stay open until help arrives.

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