Downtown Detroit businesses board-up to 'prevent any damage' from protests
Detroit — A day after Detroit police made more than 100 arrests during the third night of large-scale protests regarding police brutality, some downtown businesses were planning for more protests that could deliver property damage.
Crews from Detroit-based Allied Building Service Co. on Monday boarded up windows in front of the Nike and Madewell stores and a crew from Livonia-based OnSite Solutions was boarding up windows around the H&M store.
The decision to board up a storefront is solely the decision of the tenant, according to Bedrock Detroit, which manages the buildings in which H&M, Madewell and the Nike Community Store are located. The property management company said was not notified beforehand.
Detroit Police Department spokesman Bryan Warrick could not confirm any property damage that had taken place along Woodward in downtown Detroit on Sunday night.
OnSite Solutions carpenter Tony Rushlow, 36, said he was at the intersection of Clifford and Griswold in downtown Detroit on Sunday to help board up windows when tear gas forced him and other members of his crew to leave the job around 9 p.m.
"(We're) just boarding up to prevent any damage to the store (and to) eliminate any damage to the city," Rushlow said. The Lincoln Park resident and his crew were back on Monday to finish the job.
OnSite Solutions carpenter MJ Johnson, 36, said he grew-up in Detroit and that the property damage didn't make sense.
"Knowing that my grandma and them experience the riots in the day ... I don't think we're going to tear our city up," said Johnson, who now lives in Livonia.
Tom Teknos, the owner of Hudson Cafe next to Nike on Woodward, said he isn't planning to board up his business because he doesn't want to send the indirect message to customers that his cafe is closed again when it just reopened on April 26.
"I hope that things settle down soon, it's gotten a little bit scary," Teknos said. "We can't afford to close again ... I pray nothing happens."
The protests in Detroit are part of a national movement to take a stand against police brutality in the wake of the Memorial Day death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Floyd, who was black, died after a white officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes. Some cities across the country and in Michigan, including Grand Rapids and Lansing, have seen fires, looting or violence.
On Saturday night, what began as a peaceful protest later devolved into bricks, rocks and M-80s being thrown at police, Detroit officials said Monday. Police ultimately used tear gas and rubber bullets in addition to arrests to get crowds to disperse.
Several businesses along Woodward put signs in their windows reading "Black Owned Please Don't Loot." A sign in the window of House of Pure Vin on Woodward read "As a Black & Woman Own (sic) Business We Support the Protestors!"
The CVS Pharmacy on Woodward is not planning to close or board up its windows, said manager Briana Dewyer, 30: "We're not going anywhere."