CHICAGO (CBS) — The weekend of violence and looting only adds to an already rough time for business owners, already struggling to save their businesses shuttered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Almost 24 hours later and the cleanup still continued in River North. Building after building, storefront after storefront, damage was done as objects were thrown through the windows, sometimes lighted objects were thrown through those windows. Crews continue to fortify the area. This is basically to keep people safe as they walk by but there are people who are afraid that perhaps violence could erupt here again.
There are crews that as of Sunday evening are still sawing off pieces of wood and putting them against buildings. People came out to help shop owners, clean up graffiti to help board up their stores.
Rioters looted a convenience store last night, but the neighbors who rely on that convenience store got together and helped the owner clean up.
“People went just crazy,” said store owner Sanjay Sonani. “They’re coming in with a garbage can, they’re filling up the garbage can, going out to hide in the back, there’s nothing that I can do. I cried at night when I was looking at the door I was seeing people just looting the store like there’s 30 to 40 people in here at a time.”
But neighbors came to help.
“We all live together and we all share space together and I wanted to help,” one volunteer said. “I mean if we don’t help each other What are we here for?”
Rioters also targeted David Choi’s Seoul Taco restaurant in River North.
“We got windows busted, doors, computers busted, things stolen,” Choi said.
But Choi is not irate.
“To me it’s bigger than our windows getting busted,” he said.
Choi believes much of this is rooted in decades of racism, injustice and the devaluation of black lives,
“Our brothers and sisters in black communities and monitory communities, this is happening on a regular basis,” Choi said. “To me that’s way too much, and we stand by those folks and those communities.”