MPD 3rd Precinct: Community offers input on future site

During the civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd, protesters torched the Minneapolis Police Department's 3rd precinct.

Now community members are weighing in on what the future of that building should look like.

"It's just been sitting there like an eyesore, like a bleeding wound. and we need to do something with it so that we can move on," said Frederick Brathwaite, who lives near the 3rd precinct building.

The city hosted an open house at the Minneapolis American Indian Center to get feedback on its proposal to redevelop the property at 3000 Minnehaha Avenue.

The city wants to relocate its Elections and Voter Services to the former site of 3rd police precinct. 

It is also taking suggestions about what should go in 8,000 square feet of space on the first floor that would be set aside for use by the community.

"It was really clear through our previous engagement that people wanted other things other than police use here. So putting our Election and Voter Services, as well as other community uses that we're exploring is a good way to kind of mix those elements," said Alexander Kato, senior project manager for the City Of Minneapolis..     

The city believes re-purposing the building to become a democracy center will help increase voters' access to the ballot box because it is centrally located, is on a number of transit lines and there is free parking.

Some neighbors believe it is also a symbolic way to help the community move forward from the memories of what happened there.

"Voting and democracy in general, that's an opportunity to bring people together and to heal past wounds and trauma," said Greg Schauff, who lives near the 3rd precinct building.

But whatever the city decides to put there, some community members say it will be better than the painful reminder of turbulent times that stands there now.

"We want to just do something and I'm glad that the city has decided to do something with it. it might not be what everybody wants, but it's something," said Brathwaite. 

Residents can also give their input through an online survey. The city plans another open house in the fall.