Tucson business owners, community pick up the pieces from downtown protest

Tucson businesses pick up the pieces following downtown protest

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Cleanup efforts are underway in downtown Tucson following the destruction left by some demonstrators protesting the death of Goerge Floyd on Friday, May 29. Business owners and community members worked to board their broken windows and wash away graffiti Saturday morning.

“It’s heartbreaking. I was watching it happen in other cities,” said Keith Lund of Romanaski Glass and Mirror. “I didn’t think it would turn out here.”

He and his crew worked to replace shattered windows at a business on Broadway Boulevard. Tucson is now another city working to pick up the pieces from protests following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, May 25.

“In Tucson, we have a lot of people who are sympathetic to the cause, and we have some bad people who come out and make a big problem for everybody, and it just distracts from the message of the peaceful protesters,” Lund said.

Buildings along Broadway Boulevard, Congress Street and Scott Avenue all suffered damage. The Tucson Police Department building was one of many others covering broken windows with wood planks.

“I know there’s a bigger cause but there’s different answers,” said Charro Steak Executive Chef Gary Hickey.

Hickey said he arrived at the restaurant around 9:30 p.m. Friday, May 29, and found shattered glass and dumpsters set on fire.

"We are one of the businesses hardest hit during this whole thing," he said. "Why would you take it out on us?"

The restaurant was recovering from the impacts of COVID-19 and now faces this new barrier to opening back up.

"It's disheartening, we were hoping to reopen next week so this is going to set us back a bit," Hickey said.

A very unexpected setback for the restaurant that’s eager to welcome it’s customers back. Charro Steak is working to order glass to replace its windows and is reevaluating when it might reopen.

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