- Kristopher Fraser |
The nation has been reeling with protests across major cities over the murder of George Floyd, a black man who was detained by Minneapolis police and treated with excessive force until he died. Minneapolis police department member Derek Chauvin held his knee down on Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds until Floyd became unresponsive.
Protests to stop police brutality and the murder of unarmed black men by police ended in violence in many circumstances in major cities including New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C, and Chicago. In more than several cases, protesters turned to looting stores as situations dissolved further into chaos.
As retailers were beginning to find a way to return to normal in a post coronavirus world, their stores were hit by looting, causing loss of inventory, and employees being temporarily placed out of work again until stores can be repaired. In New York's SoHo boutique district and Beverly Hills' Rodeo Drive, luxury stores ranging from Moncler to Louis Vuitton were ransacked for merchandise, losing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of inventory. Luckily, these stores are insured.
To be clear, there is a staunch divide between peaceful protesters and those looting stores. New York City mayor Bill de Blasio blamed the looting on a "small number of violent protesters and said that future attempts at looting will be addressed "very, very aggressively."
Apple, Coach, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel were all very hard hit stores by the looters. The NYPD arrested around 250 people Sunday night, a decrease from 340 on Saturday. Across the rest of the country, retailers from Target to Walmart have actually locked down stores out of fear of looting. Many retailers, who are still fully operational, and were spared from looting, have opted to temporarily close stores again out of fear of looting and violent protesters, with no clear timeline for when they'll be back up and running.
Over in Los Angeles, retail and entertainment complex The Grove saw the looting of a Nordstrom, an Apple store, and a Ray-Ban store. A Marc Jacobs store on Melrose Avenue was also looted.
Cities have begun instituting curfews to prevent further looting and protests erupting into violence. Broward County in Florida has instituted a 9 p.m. curfew. Los Angeles has instituted an 8 p.m. curfew, and Chicago has instituted various curfews for the city and suburbs, with the earliest starting at 7 p.m.