Minneapolis, MN – A 30-year-old man was gunned down on Saturday next to the memorial where George Floyd died but police were unable to respond to the shooting because it occurred inside the city’s anti-cop, anti-white “autonomous zone.”
Kim Griffin said the victim was her nephew, Imez Wright, who was killed in George Floyd Square on March 6, KTXL reported.
“Police were not allowed to get into that area; he was carried out outside of the zone of George Floyd Square,” Griffin said.
“It was made clear law enforcement was not welcome to penetrate that zone, which is an atrocity because his life was taken, and I mean who knows whether or not he would have survived had things been different,” the grieving aunt added.
Video circulated online that showed Wright lying in a pool of blood in front of Cup Foods, the same deli where Floyd allegedly passed a counterfeit $20 that led to police being called on him the day he died.
Minneapolis Police Department Spokesman John Elder told reporters that Wright was shot after a verbal altercation with another man, FOX News reported.
Wright died at Hennepin County Medical Center.
There are no white people allowed in the autonomous zone either, according to FOX News.
Demonstrators have been camping in the area for months, but the six-block autonomous zone has grown in recent weeks in anticipation of the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin for Floyd’s murder.
The National Police Association (NPA) is putting pressure on the city of Minneapolis to shut down the autonomous zone that surrounds the intersection of East 38th Street and Chicago Avenue near where Floyd died on May 25, 2020 as he was being arrested by the Minneapolis police.
NPA spokeswoman Betsy Brantner Smith, a retired police sergeant, said the residents who live within the autonomous zone have been suffering alone for months, FOX News reported.
Brantner Smith said that police have also been pulled from the area for months amidst a general officer shortage citywide and even more have been pulled away for Chauvin’s trial.
“George Floyd Square is now an autonomous zone,” she told FOX News. “They just had a homicide there.”
The retired police sergeant said the violence has been an ongoing and increasing problem since last summer.
“There are businesses especially near the Third Precinct – that was allowed to burn down – that get robbed by the same people two to three times a week. There are citizens who just can’t get police services,” she explained.
Brantner Smith said the protesters inside the autonomous zone have banned police and white people from the area.
“The police are literally barricaded from going in there,” she explained. “It’s very frustrating because it’s already a very disadvantaged area to begin with. Then, of course, last May and into the summer, there were the riots that further decimated it, and now you have this area where the police — who are already short-staffed — aren’t allowed to go in.”
A recent news broadcast showed that they’ve also banned the news media from entering the autonomous zone.
A reporter from NewsNationNow posted a video he filmed at the barricaded entrance to the area when two people approached him and said they knew who he was and that he needed to leave.
The George Floyd memorial is an "autonomous zone" with several blocks controlled by activists. Police don't even go in. We tried to respectfully get video-but left after two people confronted us near the barricades.
Later learned many protestors don't even feel comfortable there. pic.twitter.com/5w32fxQ0hR
— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) March 10, 2021
Brantner Smith told FOX News there have been a number of documented assaults inside the autonomous zone since it was created.
The retired sergeant said Minneapolis was getting ready for “inevitable rioting” because “no matter how this case turns out, there likely will be violence.”
Security for the trail has fallen heavily on the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office because the Minneapolis Police Department is down more than 20 percent in staffing due to a slew of retirements and PTSD claims in the wake of the riots.