Boston businesses clean up after night of vandalism and looting
BOSTON, Mass. (WLNE) — A night of violence and looting left destruction in the streets of Boston Monday morning, as many business owners tried to clean up and salvage what was left of their shops.
“I was just standing here begging them not to destroy my place,” recalled Driss Elmokri, the owner of Cafe Bonjour on Temple Street in Boston’s Downtown Crossing shopping area.
Elmokri’s restaurant suffered broken windows, but luckily he was able to keep looters from stealing his cash register.
Dozens of other local businesses in Downtown Crossing and on Newbury Street were destroyed and looted Sunday night.
“I never saw anything like this at all in my life,” said Hany Gad, owner of Lambert’s Marketplace on Tremont Street.
“Two of the glass [windows] were 100% broken and people went inside stealing beer, wine, and cigarettes,” Gad said.
City crews were cleaning up the mess left behind Monday morning, sweeping glass, boarding up windows, and removing graffiti.
Business owners like Elmokri and Gad say they were disappointed with the violence after peaceful protests took place across the city for several hours prior.
“They were not part of the protests at all,” said Driss Elmokri, who himself had participated in a peaceful protest earlier on Sunday.
“They were out to loot, out to steal, and out to cause more pain. So shame on them,” he said.
Both governor Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh condemned the violence, saying Sunday night’s rioting and looting distracted and undermined the peaceful protests held earlier in the day.