After protests and riots in response to George Floyd’s death left buildings scorched and damaged in cities across the country, legions of volunteers showed up the next morning to clean up the damage.
In Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed, a throng of volunteers with brooms, trash bags, and shovels showed up to clean up broken glass and debris after hundreds of businesses in the city were scorched or reduced to rubble over the last few days.
Small business owners who had their buildings destroyed are setting up GoFundMe campaigns to raise money while large corporations, such as Target and CVS, have opted to close down stores in the city until further notice.
Local nonprofits and religious groups are organizing cleanup efforts and taking donations to help areas that have been destroyed.
Volunteers also descended on downtown Atlanta, which both saw violent protests Friday night where buildings were vandalized or broken into, including CNN’s headquarters.
It’s ultimately unclear who is perpetrating the most physical damage: Minneapolis officials said every person arrested during the protest was from out of state, suggesting white nationalists may use the protests as cover to wreak havoc, while President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday “It’s ANTIFA and the Radical Left.”
246, that’s how many businesses in Minneapolis have been burned, vandalized, looted or had doors and windows smashed, according to the Star Tribune.
Though both sides of the political spectrum have called on the protests to remain peaceful, President Donald Trump, along with right wing pundits, have been particularly forceful in condemning the destruction of property and looting. Trump appeared to threaten military action over the issue when he tweeted “when the looting starts the shooting starts” on Thursday (though he later said he wasn’t referring to troops doing the shooting). While activists counter that inanimate objects such as buildings, which can rebuild, are not comparable to the life of Floyd.
George Floyd died after four police officers attempted to detain him for allegedly using a fake $20 bill. In a video that has since gone viral, one officer is seen pinning Floyd to the ground and continuing to kneel on his neck while Floyd yells that he can’t breathe. The officer who knelt on Floyd, Derek Chauvin, was arrested and charged with third degree murder and manslaughter on Friday after riots broke out in the city the night before. An active investigation into the other three officers are still ongoing and they may still be charged.
The owner of a locally owned Indian Restaurant that burned to the ground on Thursday responded by standing with the protesters. “Let my building burn, Justice needs to be served, put those officers in jail,” he said in a widely shared Facebook post.
Source: Forbes Business