Residents of Minneapolis’ ‘no-go zone’ speak out 

A Minneapolis resident and her fiancé are now “grappling with the fact” that they “own and live in a house in the middle of an autonomous zone with no end in sight.” 

Barricades at the scene of Minneapolis' no-go zone. (Hannah Bretz/Facebook)

A resident of Minneapolis’ “no-go zone” said in a recent Facebook post that she and her fiancé will be dealing “with the emotional trauma of this for a very long time.”

East 38th Street and Chicago Avenue South, the intersection where George Floyd died, is surrounded by barricades and patrolled by black-bloc activists who have transformed the memorial site into an autonomous zone.

The area is informally referred to as a “no-go zone” because of reports that police are either hesitant to respond to calls directly within the zone or are met with resistance when they attempt to do so.

“Police were not allowed to get into the area,” said Kim Griffin, a relative of Imaz Wright, who was shot and killed in the no-go zone on March 6.

“It was made clear law enforcement was not welcome to penetrate that zone,” Griffin added.

A statement from the Minneapolis Police Department said officers “were met with interference at the scene” when responding to Wright’s death, but spokesperson John Elder declined to elaborate further.

A reporter was recently chased out of the area when he attempted to uncover more details.

Hannah Bretz and her fiancé are now “grappling with the fact” that they “own and live in a house in the middle of an autonomous zone with no end in sight.”

A sign at the Speedway in Minneapolis’ no-go zone. (Hannah Bretz/Facebook)

Bretz wrote on Facebook that she was “trying out paint samples” on her basement before Wright was killed and could hear the shots ring out.

“This is the 4th violent death that has happened on our street in less than a year. This was not the first time I had to check to see if we needed to hide due to gunshots ringing out. Nor do I think that it will be the last,” she said in a post that she shared on a public crime-monitoring page.

“When will I be able to sleep at night without nightmares? When will I be able to worry about small things like what’s for dinner? I so badly want the biggest thing in Phil’s and my lives to be the fact that we are getting married. Instead we are grappling with the fact that we own and live in a house in the middle of an autonomous zone with no end in sight,” Bretz added.

An anonymous “collection of neighbors” who live “adjacent to George Floyd Square” said “police are met by hostile groups when responding to our repeated 911 calls” in an op-ed published Monday in the Star Tribune.

“As neighbors of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, also known as George Floyd Square or the autonomous zone, we are witnessing a revolution by day and a devolution by night,” they said in their article, which provided an account of criminal activity over the past 10 days inside the no-go zone.

In one case, “thirty shots hit cars and the windows and siding of at least one house, narrowly missing residents watching TV.”

“The spiritual health of our community, the feeling of being connected to something larger than ourselves, is collapsing,” they added.

According to Crime Watch Minneapolis, a Friday night police pursuit ended in the no-go zone where at least one suspect was arrested.