Yogesh Shandiley, a local business owner in Manhattan, New York City, could not hide his disappointment after his store allegedly suffered damage of around $500,000 (€443,385) at the hands of looters during the protest over the murder of George Floyd.
«I mean, there's no feeling. Business was closed for two-three months already, and now look at this. Everything is broken down. Because of COVID-19 we stocked up more merchandise. We were thinking it's only in China, it's not going to be here. And they looted everything. Nobody helped. The police was standing and watching outside, and that's the bad part about it,» said Shandiley.
The store owner said he considers closing shop due to the damage costs.
«Yeah, because we lost over a half-a-million dollars. The insurance is not covering most of the stuff. And here, it's a very bad job [sic]. Why the police protection? For what? We send them the money every year, the PDA, they call us for donations, and they didn't — I mean, everybody looked like involved in this.»
Shandiley also said that people come to ostensibly express their sadness of the looting, but they end up stealing themselves. «We can't open like this. Still, the people, whoever's coming, they feel bad and they want to steal merchandise. Today. That's why we lowered the gate.»
«Yeah, they're all like, «Oh, we feel bad, we feel sorry,» and they pick up the merchandise and they run away. That's what it is outside — the homeless people and the looters are still outside. They don't care,» he added.
Meanwhile, a local resident expressed solidarity for the countless looted stores across the United States, saying it would just stain the name of the protesters.
«They say it's about George Floyd, but no, I don't think so. People are just a bunch of thieves. You understand people? They go beyond the extreme. People [shop owners] worked hard for that thing, you know what I'm saying? I mean, if we're protesting, we're protesting. We don't have to break people's places. People worked hard for their stuff. They [the looters] are putting a bad name on us, as black people,» she said.
The killing of George Floyd during an arrest in Minneapolis on May 25, after ex-police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes, sparked a wave of protests against racism and police brutality worldwide, which also involved countless instances of looting.