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Minneapolis architect seeks to rebuild his city after protests

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics - Duration: 02:15s - Published
Minneapolis architect seeks to rebuild his city after protests

Minneapolis architect seeks to rebuild his city after protests

George Floyd's death in Minneapolis while in police custody, and the destruction that followed during demonstrations throughout the region, cut especially deep for Saint Paul architect James Garrett Jr., a fifth-generation black resident of Minnesota's Twin Cities.

This report produced by Yahaira Jacquez.

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For Minneapolis architect James Garrett, seeing the damage to this building - from protests in St.

Paul, Minnesota over the death of George Floyd - was devastating.

His firm, which that focuses on community development projects, was turning it into an arts center, but this week it was one of many sits in the Twin Cities left in ruins as some protests turned violent and destructive.

"In my wildest dreams, I never thought that buildings and organizations that represent people and community and positive engagement would be targeted by anybody from this community." Thanks to a fire suppression system, it only suffered cosmetic damage.

Now, it's all boarded up.

'Justice for George Floyd' is spray painted on the plywood.

But 48-year-old Garrett says it's not about him or his buildings.

"It's these are growing pains that we have to go through as a society in order to get to a better place and a better world that my kids are able to have a different lived experience and reality than what I had grown up here - than whatever has to happen, has to happen." Now, Garrett, a 5th generation member of the community says he's deeply committed to rebuilding.

"The challenge for us is how do we not just replace what was lost, but create a more equitable, ecologically resilient, new entity to take the place of the old thing, right.

And how do we do it, how do we do it better than how it was done before?" Floyd's death hits especially close to home for Garrett, who casually knew the 46-year-old as "Big Floyd." Floyd worked as the doorman at one of Garrett's favorite restaurants.

"You know, I knew him casually as the guy at the door for all those years.

And so, seeing what happened to him is a reminder that if but for the grace of God, it could have been me." Garrett says that while he can help rebuild the physical parts, he mourns for the family of George Floyd and others whose lives have been lost.




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