Replacing the Third Precinct police station in south Minneapolis will cost an estimated $10 million, according to figures showing the damage to public infrastructure during the riots after the police killing of George Floyd.
The figures, shared Monday by Hennepin County, are the first valuations of the damage to the police station, which was looted and torched by protesters after officers abandoned their post May 28. The city is estimating $13.8 million in losses, damages and overtime costs related to fires in the days after Floyd was arrested and killed.
The city provided the estimates to Gov. Tim Walz, who requested $16 million in disaster aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) earlier this month. The agency denied the request, and Walz on Tuesday said he planned to appeal the decision.
“It’s not all that unusual that this was denied,” he said. “I wish they would take another look at it, and I think we can make a good case.”
In addition to the $10 million to replace the Third Precinct, the city estimated an additional $289,000 to replace 911 equipment inside, $225,000 for cleanup, and $5,000 for “paper shredding services,” according to documents. It also tallied more than $1 million in related overtime costs for services and police, fire and public works employees.
City officials could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
The future of the precinct is unclear; Council Member Alondra Cano, who represents the area, has said she does not support rebuilding on that site.
The precinct had gained a reputation over the years for the aggressive policing conducted by its officers.
Hennepin County estimated $5.7 million in damages to its facilities related to the fires, according to documents. Most of that was sustained at its properties on Lake Street near the Third Precinct, including $3.6 million for East Lake Library, $943,200 for East Lake Clinic and $500,000 for the South Hennepin County Human Service Center.
Under federal law, FEMA can provide financial assistance for cities to recover from natural disasters as well as fires, regardless of their cause. The county and city compiled the damage caused by the fires set during the riots and sent them to the state.
“It’s an estimate,” said Eric Waage, the emergency management director for Hennepin County. “There is enough stuff going on here that we have clearly met or exceeded our threshold” for federal aid.
In his letter to President Donald Trump asking for financial assistance, Walz said the uprising following Floyd’s killing was the “second most destructive incident of civil unrest in United States history” after the Los Angeles riots in 1992.
Los Angeles received federal aid from FEMA following those riots; other cities that have been the site of major riots since have not.
Walz said he would try to talk to Vice President Mike Pence about the need for federal aid.
“I’m disappointed they didn’t do it. We are committed to rebuilding these areas as vibrantly as we possibly can,” he said.
If Trump rejects Walz’s appeal, Minnesota statute indicates that a majority of the recovery costs for public infrastructure would fall on the state, Waage said.
Staff writer Liz Navratil contributed to this report.