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Even When Residents Call For Their Help, Minneapolis Police Won't Go Near 38th & Chicago

This story was originally published on Friday, April 30, 2021.

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - Once again, people who live near George Floyd Square want to know when Minneapolis police will respond to their calls for help.

Early Thursday morning, a domestic assault victim called 911 for help. Even though she had been cut and was bleeding, she was told to relocate a block away so police could respond.

Her story is not the only one; others in the area have wondered when officers will make it inside the "no-go zone" to provide their service.

George Floyd Square has been a place for mourning and healing for the thousands who pay a visit. But for the people who live there, once night falls, they say it becomes a place where lawlessness abounds.

Scanner audio from Thursday morning tells the story of a domestic assault victim, calling 911 for help from her home near 38th Street and Elliot Avenue.

"Is it possible to have her move at least a block away maybe 38th and 10th. Copy she is bleeding and cut everywhere but we'll call her back and ask her to move a block away," the audio scanner says.

"Unfortunately, that's the normal in this neighborhood post-George Floyd," said Kimyia Whitehead-Partee.

Kimyia Whitehead-Partee
Kimyia Whitehead-Partee (credit: CBS)

Whitehead-Partee, after WCCO played her the audio, said she had a similar experience.

A domestic situation forced her to run out of her home, leaving her daughter behind. She made it to 40th Street and Bloomington Avenue where someone called police.

After filing a report, police would not give her a ride to her home, near 38th and Chicago.

"They were like we can't take you there. I was like, what do you mean you can't go there? I need somebody to go to my house and check on my child and they were like, no we can't go there. They dropped me off at 35th and 10th at 1 o'clock in the morning and made me walk here," said Whitehead-Partee.

Last month, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said officers continue to patrol the area while he works with community stakeholders to figure out when to open up the intersection.

"The best public safety remedy right now is to open up and to get that intersection flowing again," he said.

"We're evaluating that timeline every single day and ensuring that we have the right resources on the ground and ready to be put into action in order to ensure safety at this intersection and a continued place of racial justice and healing," said Mayor Jacob Frey.

While the city tries to figure out what to do, residents say they are forced to continue living in a warzone.

"Who wants to live somewhere where you can be a victim of crime and nobody comes to help," said Whitehead-Partee.

Frey says he is working with others to align a phased approach to reopening the intersection of 38th and Chicago. He says they have taken steps to increase both law enforcement presence and community services in the area.

Frey says the city is committed to memorializing the legacy of George Floyd at that intersection.

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