Businesses react to riots after peaceful protest
The peaceful protest began Saturday afternoon and business owners had no worries about danger, but hours later they had a different feeling.
Riots that were not affiliated with the Black Lives Matter Movement began. They started smashing glass and destroying property and affected many businesses in our area.
They started at City Hall and made their way South on Virginia St. where many gathered near Old Granite Street Eatery, their vandalism was highly present. Kevin and Kaya Stanley, the owners said after almost 3 months of being closed due to COVID-19 this act was unnecessary and not what our community is about.
"People that we are involved with black lives matter are not those people that are breaking in Patagonia's windows and walking around with machine guns and threatening people and throwing up cars, it’s not them," said Stanley.
Mayor Hillary Schieve visited businesses to make sure they were in stable condition. She said seeing people support and help clean is what we as a community are about, but now it's time everyone takes action.
"As leaders, we need to come together and do a better job and help our community through things like that, transparency, human rights, those type of things," said Schieve.
Down the street, we find Mark Estee, the C.E.O of Reno Local Food Group who was inside Liberty Food and Wine Exchange making sure his business wasn’t broken into. Estee said these violent acts have instilled fear in his employees having to close his restaurant temporarily for their safety.
"If we came together, listened to other people’s feelings, other people’s grievances, I don’t like to reinvent the wheel, there is a lot of things that are available in our community right now and maybe people who need it they don’t have access to it," Estee explained.
Some say the message of equality and eliminating racism is being overshadowed by the violence of a few. It's clear that regardless of your background we all play in a role in improving the Biggest Little City.