George Floyd Square survey results are in: 81% of respondents on a city questionnaire offered to residents and businesses within a half-mile of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue supported one of two permanent memorial designs officials proposed in February.
Forty-one percent wanted to keep the raised-fist sculpture, created by Jordan Powell Karis, in the center of a makeshift roundabout in the intersection.
Forty percent wanted to relocate it into the northeast corner of 38th and Chicago, the spot where Floyd died under the knee of ex-cop Derek Chauvin.
Sixteen percent of respondents rejected both designs and wrote in demands for "justice" before any change to the square, which has been blocked off from the rest of Minneapolis by concrete barricades and under occupation by protesters going on 10 months.
Only 3% of responses requested the square be reopened to regular vehicle traffic and returned to its original form without a permanent memorial to Floyd.
"The responses overall indicated strong two options and good support in the area for reopening the intersection," said Brette Hjelle, the city's interim director of Public Works, during the city's regular Thursday morning security briefing on the ongoing murder trial of Chauvin.
Given the evenly split preference, the city will now refine both memorial designs and work to implement them in concert with community members, Hjelle said.
A total of 4,000 surveys were issued in three languages, resulting in 685 responses. A spokeswoman said the city did not analyze respondent demographics, as it did during a September 2020 survey of area opinions on the continued closure of the square. In that questionnaire, 65% of respondents wanted the intersection reopened to two-way traffic, but people of color and residents under 25 were statistically underrepresented.
City officials announced in February that they had decided to reopen the square following Chauvin's trial. The survey for the memorial options focused narrowly on the future design of the intersection after it is reopened.
Some members of the public criticized the city's survey for not including an option for not reopening the square at all.
"16% of respondents to a survey that didn't include an option to not reopen voted for #NoJusticeNoStreet," tweeted the GeorgeFloydSQ account. "This is weaponized study design and weaponized data at work."
Susan Du • 612-673-4028