MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Crews are removing concrete barriers as well as artwork, flowers and other memorial items from a Minneapolis intersection that has become a sprawling memorial to George Floyd.

City crews began the work about 4:30 a.m. Thursday at the intersection, which is informally known as George Floyd Square and was where the 46-year-old Black man was pinned to the ground by police.

The intersection at 38th Street and Chicago Avenue has been closed to traffic and became a primary gathering place for those mourning Floyd, whose death last year at the hands of police galvanized the racial justice movement.

The city says a community group worked to coordinate Thursday's effort and a fist sculpture will remain in the middle of the intersection.

Timeline: George Floyd's Death, Protests, Riots, Arrests, Chauvin Trial

It was late afternoon on Memorial Day, 2020 and many Minnesotans had observed the normally active weekend hunkered down because of the growing pandemic.

George Floyd drove to a grocery store in Minneapolis and bought some cigarettes. He was accused by employees of making the purchase with a counterfeit $20 bill and police were called. Floyd was still there in his vehicle when two officers arrived. About 10 minutes later, Chauvin and another officer showed up and the situation began to escalate. Chauvin began kneeling on Floyd's neck as he was facedown on the street. Despite repeated pleas from Floyd and a growing crowd of bystanders to remove his knee, Chauvin continued as if frozen in position with no facial expression. 

After more than 8 minutes, Chauvin finally stood up and Floyd had become unresponsive. An ambulance was called and a short while later, it was reported Floyd was dead.

A video of the incident slowly spread on social media around the state, the country and the world. Viewers literally watched a man slowly die, repeating "I can't breathe." 

The now historic response began the following day.