A small business owner in Minnesota is reeling after the result of his life’s work was ravaged by rioters.
Scores Sports Bar, a Minneapolis business owned by a man named K.B. Balla, was ransacked Wednesday night as ongoing protests turned violent.
The destruction happened as demonstrations over the case of George Floyd, who was allegedly murdered by a Minneapolis Police Department officer, gradually gave way to rioting.
A viral video of the encounter between Floyd and police shows an officer kneeling on the man’s neck despite repeated exclamations from bystanders — and Floyd himself — that he wasn’t able to breathe.
The past few days have seen communities, businesses like Balla’s and even police stations weathering the full brunt of an angry mob.
“I don’t know what we’re going to do,” Balla told a news crew. “We worked so hard to get here.”
A former firefighter according to a GoFundMe set up to support him, Balla had spent his entire life savings — decades of work — to launch his sports bar. After he had to deal with the crippling economic downturn, the riots were a gut punch for his business.
Insurance may cover some of his losses, but this retired fireman may still face a mountain of costs to get his business operational again.
While the camera crew was still filming Balla’s ransacked bar, looters returned to try to haul his safe away. According to the GoFundMe, Balla’s business has now been completely burned down.
Although the protests are shining a light on what appears to be a police-involved murder, the violent riots that have followed are doing even more harm to an already injured community.
Unfortunately, Balla, a black man, isn’t alone in suffering at the hands of a mob that claims to be agitating for racial justice.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, rioters have not discriminated in dealing destruction.
Large chains like CVS and Target have suffered ransacked stores and reduced hours among the chaos. Small businesses like bars, auto repair shops and clothing stores have also been ravaged by the crowds.
So far, it’s believed some 100 businesses in Minneapolis alone have been damaged in the chaos.
With more protests seemingly on the horizon, the heartbreak of Balla and so many other Minneapolitans is far from over.
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