Crews on Wednesday morning began clearing away debris and removing a garden in the Uptown area of Minneapolis where protesters have gathered for weeks following the shooting of Winston Smith Jr.

Smith, a 32-year-old Black man, was fatally shot June 3 on the top level of an Uptown parking ramp by members of a U.S. marshals task force attempting to arrest him on a firearms warrant. Smith's death touched off weeks of unrest in the vicinity of Lake Street and S. Girard Avenue in which protesters blocked streets, started fires and held demonstrations almost nightly. Protester Deona Marie Knajdek was killed and others were injured when an allegedly drunken driver plowed into a barricade.

In the midst of safety concerns and violence in the neighborhood, organizers of the Uptown Art Fair called off their event, which was scheduled for Aug. 7-8.

On Wednesday, the owner of the private property where a community garden was established announced the area would be cleared because continued violent acts, arson and makeshift barriers blocking access to Uptown residents and businesses has created an "unsustainable and unhealthy situation."

"We previously committed to work to allow a community garden as long as it remained a safe and peaceful gathering place," property owner Seven Points said in a statement. "Unfortunately, that has not happened."

Seven Points is the owner of the building previously known as Calhoun Square. Minneapolis officials said the property owner and its contractor are doing the work. The company gave no further comment.

Members of We Push for Peace, a group Seven Points hired to act as community engagement ambassadors for the garden, were on the scene Wednesday.

Video posted on social media showed front-end loaders removing debris and filling dumpsters.

Meanwhile, police are investigating a shooting on the 3300 block of S. Aldrich Avenue in Uptown that left a man injured.

Tim Harlow • 612-673-7768