Struggling cities hit with heavy bill from damage caused by riots, protests

In this May 29, 2020, photo, a check-cashing business burns during protests in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 1:25 PM PT – Saturday, August 15, 2020

Cities across the nation have been spending millions of dollars to repair the damages incurred during ongoing riots and demonstrations. Already debt-ridden from the economic impact of the coronavirus, cities are now feeling the massive financial burden of these protests, which were sparked by the death of George Floyd.

Looting, attacks on officers and property damage are just a few leading causes behind these high costs.

In Minneapolis, where the riots first began in May, total damages could cost the city as much as $500 million. In Chicago, property damages alone were estimated to be worth approximately $20 million.

“What occurred in our downtown and surrounding communities was abject criminal behavior, pure and simple. There cannot be any excuse for it, period. This is not legitimate First Amendment protected speech.” – Lori Lightfoot, Mayor of Chicago

Yogi Dalal hugs his daughter Jigisha as his other daughter Kajal, left, bows her head at the family food and liquor store Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, after the family business was vandalized in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Portland, Oregon has seen similar issues. Dozens of nights of protests and riots have cost the city around $23 million in total damages.

Beyond the financial cost, law enforcement has been exceptionally strained as they continue to protect cities from rioters. This comes amid impending budget cuts to police departments, which were also initiated by the protests.

“It’s a drain on resources. We have people who are dedicated to just provoking a police response. That response is taking away from our ability to go out and give people the service that they expect from the police bureau.” – Chief Chuck Lowell, Portland Police Bureau

The total cost of these riots nationwide is reportedly expected to exceed that of any demonstration in American history, including the $1.4 billion recovery from the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

Black Lives Matter protesters march through Portland, Ore. after rallying at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

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Shanon Peckham
Author: Shanon Peckham

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