UPDATED 3:05 PM PT — Sunday, May 31, 2020
Local businesses, which have been trying to recover from the pandemic, are now facing a new problem following the Minneapolis riots.
“It’s a tough one to come in and see what started years ago, and now the it’s just complete devastation. It’s like a hurricane came through, busted every piece of glass, these old nice cases. There’s probably not another store around like it and I don’t know if we can rebuild something like this.” – Unnamed business owner
Violent protests and massive looting have left the city full of debris. Small business owners are now struggling to survive.
“I don’t even know the time, I’ve been up since like 7 o’clock yesterday,” said one local. “We actually stayed out here all night last night.”
Thousands took to the Minnesota city’s streets to demand justice for George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed after a cop knelt on his neck until he could no longer breathe.
“It’s hard to juggle both worlds. I’ve got to ride both sides of it, because I understand the outrage and I understand people’s confliction with the situation, but I am on other side of it as well. This is my livelihood. I don’t want this disrupted or destroyed.” – Tom Wilson, business owner
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has estimated that 80% of the rioters were actually out-of-state residents.
“Let’s be very clear: the situation in Minneapolis is no longer in any way about the murder of George Floyd,” stated the governor. “It is about attacking civil society, instilling fear and disrupting our great cities.”
In one night, firefighters responded to nearly 30 fires throughout the city.
“If you know where these people are sleeping today, let us know and we will execute warrants. …If you know someone was down there protesting, help us, call and tell us who they were. They’re not from Minneapolis, but they’re staying down here. They’re doing this, they’re coming in.” – Tim Walz, Governor of Minnesota
Residents have since been coming together to clean up the aftermath and to rebuild the community.
“Everyone is coming out as a community,” explained one resident. “(They are) trying to make sure that we are healing together and to trying to rebuild as a whole, to make sure that we don’t let tragedies like these go.”
GoFundMe accounts have been created to help support these small businesses, which are not only suffering from the pandemic, but are now fighting for their livelihoods.