Three suspects led Minneapolis police on a vehicle chase Friday night that passed through George Floyd Square.
When the pursuit ended about 2 miles from its starting point, three suspects were arrested, one with a gunshot wound to the hand, police said. No shots were fired by police.
The chase began about 10 p.m. when officers heard shots coming from a vehicle near E. Franklin Avenue and S. Chicago Avenue. When they tried to stop it, the driver fled.
At one point the driver, followed by police, crossed through George Floyd Square, a memorial site at the intersection of E. 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, where George Floyd died in police custody on May 25.
A bystander's video posted on Instagram shows a tan pickup truck passing through the square, followed by five squad cars. Some commenting on Instagram expressed suspicion that the incident was staged, pointing out that in a still shot taken from the video, the driver is smiling.
The intersection is considered a sacred space by many people. It's frequently the site of prayer gatherings, as it was Saturday morning.
Earlier Friday, Minneapolis leaders agreed to pay $27 million to Floyd's family, settling a lawsuit against the city and the ex-officers involved in Floyd's death. The family pledged to donate $500,000 of the sum to Black-owned businesses near the square.
Just four days earlier, a murder trial began for Derek Chauvin, one of the ex-officers accused of killing him.
Police spokesman John Elder said the route was set by the suspects, not the officers chasing them. "We pursued violent felony suspects that fled from us to that area," he said in an e-mail. "Our officers pursued. We didn't determine the path of travel."
The vehicle stopped near E. 38th Street and Elliot Avenue, he said, a couple of blocks from George Floyd Square. The three people inside were arrested. One had a noncritical gunshot wound to the hand and was taken by ambulance to HCMC. The driver, a man, was arrested.
Two handguns were recovered from inside the vehicle, Elder said.
Elder said he could not verify that the bystander's video was completely authentic, but the suspect vehicle and lead police squad car in it were captured accurately. He said the driver was smiling because "this was a big joke to him." Drivers who lead police on chases "think it's sport," he said.
In a separate incident, a man and a woman were shot and wounded early Saturday at Nicollet Avenue and 14th Street, police said. No arrests have been reported.
Katy Read • 612-673-4583