Businesses sue City of Minneapolis over policing at 38th and Chicago

Four businesses, including neighborhood grocer Cup Foods, have filed a lawsuit against the City of Minneapolis over policing issues at 38th and Chicago.

The lawsuit filed earlier this month alleges the city has failed to properly police the area following the murder of George Floyd at 38th and Chicago. The businesses are also displeased with cement barriers that have been up at the intersection since Floyd's death.

The businesses say the barriers have blocked customers from visiting businesses while "the area has turned into a hub for violent crime."

"The mayor, the city, the city council, and the Minneapolis Police Department collectively agreed to severely limit police response in the barricaded area surrounding plaintiffs’ businesses," the lawsuit reads. "The police only responded to the most serious calls and actively avoided the area, even going as far as asking volunteer medics to go inside the barricaded area and bring victims out to them. Instead, the city allows civilian occupiers to 'guard' the zone, which has caused deadly and disastrous results."

"Criminals know the area lacks police protection, and they have now made the area so dangerous that it has become known as the 'No Go Zone,'" the lawsuit added.

Back in July 2020, a little over a month after George Floyd was killed, police acknowledged they were being "mindful" when responding to the area. In March 2021, business owners told FOX 9 they felt "forgotten" by the city. That same month, Minneapolis police and federal authorities undertook an effort to combat crime in the area of 38th and Chicago.

This past November, residents and business leaders raised concerns about litter and trash in the area along with crime problems.

When asked about the lawsuit, city officials told FOX 9 they were unable to comment on the pending litigation.

Mayor Jacob Frey did provide a statement saying, "We did everything possible to open the street safely amid very tenuous circumstances. When we finally did open the street, the City did so in a planned way where no one was hurt and the area remained safe for residents."