Minneapolis Businesses Sue City for Failing to Police

Several Minneapolis stores located near where George Floyd died sued the city and mayor in November for failing to police the area and prevent local crime.

Local businesses in the area called George Floyd Square after Floyd died in police custody there in May 2020 say the city has abandoned them to criminals. The plaintiffs include an investment business and tobacco store owned by the same family. Cup Foods, the store that called the police on Floyd in 2020 for attempting to use a counterfeit $20 bill, is also suing.

Plaintiffs filed the lawsuit in a Minneapolis state court in mid-November, naming Mayor Jacob Frey, other city officials, and the Minneapolis Police Department. The local stores are seeking $1.5 million in damages due to the alleged failure by the city to police the area and prevent crime in the years since a nationwide outcry over the death of George Floyd.

“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 filing reads in part. Businesses say the result has been fewer customers and more crime.

“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 also states.

“There’s always something going on up there, there’s gunshots up there all the time,” said Richard Gaddes, a Minneapolis resident who has lived near George Floyd Square for four decades. “There was a time here right after the George Floyd incident where the cops wouldn’t come into the neighborhood at all no matter what happened,” Gaddes added.

Race rioters looted and destroyed hundreds of business locations and government buildings nationwide in 2020 after Floyd died while in police custody. The incident set off a national conversation about race and police violence after a video went viral of Officer Derek Chauvin detaining Floyd with a knee over his neck.

A medical examiner testified in Apr. 2021 that heart disease and fentanyl found in his system were contributing factors to his death.