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After Chaotic Night, Damaged Boston Businesses Start Cleaning Up03:25
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Looters smash a storefront window on School Street after a largely peaceful Black Lives Matter rally at the Massachusetts State House. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Looters smash a storefront window on School Street after a largely peaceful Black Lives Matter rally at the Massachusetts State House. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Last night, thousands of people marched through Boston to protest police violence in the wake of George Floyd's death. But after hours of peaceful demonstration, clashes erupted between police and protestors downtown.

As in other cities where protests turned to confrontations, business storefronts took a lot of damage. Across Boston, windows were smashed, buildings were vandalized and trash cans were set ablaze. Some stores, like Skylight Jewelers on School Street, were looted.

Looters smashing a window of a store front on School street after the Black Lives Matter rally at the Massachusetts State House. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Looters smashing a window of a store front on School street after the Black Lives Matter rally at the Massachusetts State House. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

This morning, as the dust settled, Boston's cleanup crews and business owners got to work repairing the damage.

A Boston Parks and Recreaton worker paints over graffiti on a wall of the Frog Pond Pavilion in the Boston Common. The graffiti was sprayed following an anti-police brutality protest at the Massachusetts State House. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
A Boston Parks and Recreaton worker paints over graffiti on a wall of the Frog Pond Pavilion in the Boston Common. The graffiti was sprayed following an anti-police brutality protest at the Massachusetts State House. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

While some business owners boarded up their windows on Sunday, "just in case," others that didn't take precautions followed suit this morning.

The windows of Skylight Jewelers, one of the businesses on School Street that were looted after the protest, were boarded up. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
The windows of Skylight Jewelers, one of the businesses on School Street that were looted after the protest, were boarded up. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

The damage extended beyond downtown, too. In Dorchester, a predominantly black neighborhood in Boston where Sunday night's protests began, some businesses were damaged and looted as well.

"I went to bed last night, looked at our security camera, and everything was fine at 1:30 [a.m.]," said Mitch Rosenfield, owner of The Hempest on Newbury Street.

"Woke up at 6 and just saw the smashed door, and knew I had to get down here."

Rosenfield said he was still doing inventory Monday morning, but that losses will easily exceed $20,000.

"It was definitely some very expensive things that were taken, but a lot of things are still in there, and the cleanup is mostly done now," he said. "I'm just waiting to get a new door put in."

Elsewhere, Rafaella Almeida, district manager of Dependable Cleaning, said she was notified early in the morning that a brick had gone through the company's Newbury Street location.

Despite that, she said she considered acts of violence, theft and vandalism overnight separate from Sunday's protests.

"This is more like a criminal thing. This is hate," she said. "This is not anyone protesting."

This segment aired on June 1, 2020.

Jack Lepiarz Twitter Reporter and Anchor
Jack Lepiarz is a reporter and anchor at WBUR.

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Freelance digital producer for On Point and WBUR news. 

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