The site where George Floyd died at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer has become a hotbed of crime and violence, and a danger for local residents, according to the New York Times.
In the more than two months since Floyd's death, massive riots have followed, and the site has been taken over by the community as a "sacred space."
Police officers have not been welcome there, and people leave tokens of their respect at a growing memorial. But at night, the parking lot has seen an ever-increasing series of violent crimes and drug overdoses.
"Emergency vehicles can’t get in. Disabled people are not able to access their medications, their appointments, their food deliveries, et cetera. It's a very challenging situation," said City Council member Andrea Jenkins.
Jenkins, the first black, openly transgender council member in Minneapolis, is one of those calling to abolish the police, while keeping a tight, city-funded security detail for her own protection.
A pregnant woman was violently murdered in the area at the beginning of July, leaving residents fearful for their safety and that of their loved ones.
Dr. Kawiecki, a local doctor and community volunteer, has been running an improvised medical station in a tent to treat people in the area, as travelling outside the local neighbourhood has posed difficulties for residents.
Kawiecki was nearly shot, and now only keeps his tent open to serve locals from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m.
Criminal elements in Minneapolis have been well able to take advantage of the decline of law enforcement activity and of community support for officers. The area where Floyd was killed is considered a no-go zone for local police, and crime activity has skyrocketed as a result.
Like many American cities, Minneapolis, crime has been on a steady decline since the 1990s. This recent spike marks a sharp turnaround of that trend.