Looters Take Advantage of Protests Throughout the Country


Photo Courtesy of the Washington Post

As protests occur throughout the country, looters take advantage of the situation.

Tiana Salisbury, Photojournalist

Throughout the United States, people are protesting in response to the death of George Floyd. In the midst of these protests, looters have been taking advantage of the current situation and have been stealing from hundreds of stores. Some looters have traveled in groups, where they could easily destroy stores in minutes. According to the Atlantic, officials believe that most looters are not involved in the protests. The recent looting has affected many types of businesses, but small businesses have been hit the hardest.


In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, many stores were forced to close for public safety. However, on the last weekend of May, many businesses were planning on opening. After months of being closed and having little to no revenue, business owners would finally start to earn money again. To prepare for opening, stores stocked up on their products and eagerly waiting for their customers to begin to come. 


Unfortunately for these businesses, the weekend of their opening was the start of looting. Windows were broken. Buildings were lit on fire. Items were knocked off shelves and debris covers the floor. Looters have destroyed many businesses throughout the country, including those in Minneapolis, New York City, and Los Angeles. 


For many large retail chains, such as Walmart, Target, and Apple, the looting has caused many of their stores across the country to close. The Washington Post states that Target has closed six stores in four states and Walmart has closed hundreds across the country. In addition to closing stores, retail chains have also begun to board up windows and increase the security of their stores. 


In comparison to retail chains, the effect of looting on small businesses is absolutely devastating. When business owners were finally given the chance to reopen, looting was probably the last thing on their minds. As the looting occurred, all small business owners could do was watch as their life savings and hard work was thrown out the window (literally). 


Business owners will now have to start from scratch since most of their products have been stolen. They would also have to pay to board up windows and fix the damage caused by looters, which will add to the cost to replace stolen items. According to Fox Business, the estimated cost of damage from the recent looting is $400 million. Now, many business owners don’t know when or if they can reopen again because of their fear of being looted again.


The mornings following the looting of stores, many volunteers have come to help clean up the mess that looters made. Some people are from the cities who have been damaged, but other people come from other cities just to help out. People Magazine states that this has been occurring throughout the country and volunteers of all ages are coming to help clean up the destruction and graffiti. Piper Guyton (9) responds and says, “Even after the devastation of local businesses, it is still heartwarming to see the community come together and help one another.”