ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Sunday was cleanup day after peaceful protesting turned to looting on Saturday night. Police said professional protestors brought violence into what started as a peaceful Black Lives Matter march.
A plaza on North Goodman Street is one of many businesses that was destroyed and looted. Glass, boxes, and trash were all over the ground. It looked a lot worse in the early morning hours, but people were out as early as eight in the morning cleaning up their communities and beginning to heal.
“It brings tears to my eyes, not necessarily for me, but for all the kids that grow up under me,” said Stan P, who lives in the area.
Sunday morning, Stan P walked up to the the plaza he gets his groceries from every day and was shocked by what he saw.
“I don’t believe that this was just a looting or riot issue. This is a ‘we need help and nobody’s listening’ issue. So a lot of people are taking advantage of the situation by stealing and taking.”
He said he brought bags to clean up but was nervous police would take him for a looter.
Roderick Johnson helped clean up a Lake Ave. plaza on Sunday morning. He said he was at the peaceful protest and believes those who started the violence had a different agenda.
“Their agenda was not to say, ‘black lives matter,’ their agenda was to come here get free stuff and loot the city,” said Johnson.
Alas Musleh owns the Cricket store in that Lake Ave. plaza. He said looters took 90 percent of his merchandise and now it’s time to rebuild.
“I knew around 10:00 that they were just in our neighborhood. They started with Rainbow then they did a U turn and took us all out. This is how I live. I’ve been here for 12 years and I’m one of the main people in this community,” said Musleh.
The city also organized a cleanup effort Sunday afternoon from Frontier Field. People pitched in from all over the area to clean up the corners of the city that were destroyed.