NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — One of the city’s most vibrant shopping districts is trying to recover and wondering what happened.
On Tuesday, there was the cleanup and the struggle to move on, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.
As darkness fell Monday night, an ugliness arose. A deli owned by Yemeni immigrants was looted. A furniture store that was Johanser Sanchez’s life’s work was emptied.
“I had there almost $300,000, $400,000 invested in my business. I came as a truck driver, man. Nobody give this to me. I worked,” Sanchez said.
He said he knows there’s tension between police and communities of color, but added he’ll ever understand how anger over that justifies the destruction.
“I’m Dominican, ya understand? It doesn’t have to do nothing with me. This is my business, my family,” Sanchez said.
The day after young people did the damage, other young people showed up to clean up, with no sympathy for the looters, but some understanding of the underlying rage.
“We are a disenfranchised people. These people came out and they looted and they rioted. That’s unfortunate and we’re here to clean it up. But they are doing this in protest of something horrible that happened,” Akilah Galloway said.
Others aren’t so sure the motive was anything other than destructive.
“It make no sense. I think this is a bunch of people that want to steal and get away with things,” store manager Adnan Mukbel said.
One Navy veteran watched the violence from his apartment above the looted deli. He said police kept their distance as stores were sacked and street fires set.
“It seemed like the NYPD are overwhelmed, or tired. The scary thing is if they let them do this another night, another night, what’s next? Coming to our houses?” Salih Yousif said.
Shattered windows, shattered dreams, and a challenge to pick up the pieces.