Establishments all across Minneapolis — both locally owned and corporate chains — have been completely destroyed in the wake of violent uprisings following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man killed after a police officer pinned him under his knee for nearly 10 minutes.
The Target in Minneapolis is completely demolished. The local Cub Foods supermarket, as well as an AutoZone, went up in flames. Dollar Tree, a nearby liquor store, and a tobacco shop have all been looted. One locally owned pharmacy was ransacked, every drug ripped off the shelves. The owner, a black man, is doing all he can to get the prescriptions for his customers transferred to other pharmacies, because his store — and everything in it — is gone.
While a reporter for MSNBC was claiming the riots in Minneapolis were “not … unruly” as a fire raged behind him, volunteers began rolling up their sleeves to help business owners whose establishments were destroyed during the violent chaos unfolding throughout the city.
There is, though, hope in all the darkness. Residents could be seen cleaning up Thursday after a night of violence.
One man, John McCauley, told Business Insider he went to Minneapolis to help clean up. He felt drawn to do so because he and his family used to live in the now-riot-plagued city.
“My wife and I were out surveying the damage in our former neighborhood,” he said. “We’re all very upset with the death of George Floyd. Also, with the increasingly indiscriminate looting, which is becoming more widespread, under the guise of injustice.”
Against a backdrop of graffiti-stained walls, volunteers gathered to clean up outside the Minneapolis Target.
Other do-gooders armed with gloves, brooms, and shovels gathered together in the city plaza to help clean the streets of debris — trash, shattered glass, and destructed materials.
Speaking to the Star Tribune, Charles Stotts, co-owner of Town Talk Diner and Gastropub, said the damage was worse than he initially thought.
“I’ll be honest,” he told the newspaper. “My head is spinning a little bit. It was so much worse than I could have imagined. All our windows are heavily damaged and the sprinkler system is still engaged.”
There is serious concern the damage done by the anger-fueled rioters could overshadow the injustice carried out against George Floyd, whose life was ended by ex-police officer Derek Chauvin, who was charged Friday with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr announced Friday that the Department of Justice and the FBI will be conducting an investigation into Floyd’s death “to determine whether any federal civil rights laws were violated.”
“Under our system,” he said, “charging decisions must be, and will be, based on the law and facts. This process is proceeding quickly. … I am confident justice will be served.”
President Donald Trump has condemned the Minneapolis Police Department, describing the footage of Chauvin using his knee to choke Floyd to death as a “a very shocking sight.”
The president has also rebuked the dangerous rioters, calling them “thugs” who are “dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen.” Twitter flagged the tweet for “glorifying violence.”