When George Zimmerman was acquitted following his intense, public murder case, many people in the country were outraged. Unfortunately, some took that anger to the streets and chose to riot in a violent, destructive way. They failed to consider that as they vandalized and destroyed property, they were also hurting small business owners in their local area that had nothing to do with the trial.
In Oakland, California, business owners were among the people affected by the Zimmerman trial riots. There were two straight nights of protests that turned destructive, even though Oakland is about 2,500 miles away from Florida where the trial happened. Major Jean Quan says that the vandalism occurred before police were able to control the crowd.
"It happened very quickly and what we had to do was move officers from all over the city and bring them downtown," said Quan. "But by then, the vandalism was already done. We're all weary of this and it doesn't honor his [Trayvon Martin's] memory."
Large glass windows at the Chase Bank were broken and a small clothing boutique named Oaklandish was also hit.
"It's just really upsetting, because we all live here. We're from here," said Oaklandish owner Natalie Nadimi. "We do everything we can to support this community. So when something like this happens, it hurts more than anything."
Some people from the community came out to help the business owners paint over graffiti and clean up broken glass. City leaders and business owners are hoping future protests will stay peaceful. In the meantime, many will have to file insurance claims and possibly have to hire a commercial insurance claim attorney if their claims are denied.