Oakland anxiously awaits Chauvin verdict; minority businesses among those vandalized Friday night

Laura Anthony Image
ByLaura Anthony KGO logo
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Oakland small businesses anxiously await Chauvin verdict
Cities across the country are on edge awaiting the verdict in the Derek Chauvin case, including Oakland, which saw peaceful protests and a certain amount of vandalism over the weekend.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Cities across the country are on edge awaiting the verdict in the Derek Chauvin case, including Oakland. The city saw peaceful protests and a certain amount of vandalism over the weekend, including two Black-owned businesses in the downtown area.

Taylor Jay has seen it before, the front window of her business shattered in the wake of an otherwise peaceful protest in downtown Oakland.

"It's not the first time with this window. It's a pretty big window, so it's pretty traumatizing," said Jay.

RELATED: 'This must stop': Oakland business owners clean up after demonstrations leave widespread damage, vandalism

It happened Friday night, as shown in pictures Jay provided us, hers is one of many businesses vandalized up and down Broadway.

For Jay, it was the first day she had re-opened her store in a year. They had just put up their shop's sign on that same day.

"We're here just trying to operate our businesses in the midst of a pandemic and so it's very unfortunate," said Jay.

Fortunately, Taylor Jay has raised the funds to replace the window through community donations in connection with The Black Bay Area on Instagram.

RELATED: Hundreds march through streets of Oakland calling for justice after recent police killings

Mayor Libby Schaaf says police are trying to identify the vandals through social media videos.

"This is completely unacceptable," said Schaaf. "While Oakland is so proud and is always going to support peaceful protests and expression of free speech, that when groups march after dark, there are people who have planted themselves inside crowds intent on doing destruction and violence."

RELATED: Derek Chauvin trial: Murder case against ex-cop in George Floyd's death goes to jury

The new vandalism comes as Oakland and other cities await a verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial in Minneapolis. The former police officer is charged with murder in the death of George Floyd. In addition, the public has seen more killings of Black men at the hands of police across the country this month, such as Daunte Wright in Minnesota.

"I am going to be calling a meeting of the Oakland City Council," said Oakland City Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas, "together with our mayor, our city attorney, our city administrator, our police chief so that we can be informed and make a plan to ensure that Oaklanders can be safe."

RELATED: Daunte Wright and George Floyd's families share in their grief in 1st appearance together

Even as they struggle to pay for the repairs and deal with their property losses, many Oakland business owners are sympathetic to the larger cause, and they worry that the actions of a few might detract from the larger message of Black Lives Matter.

"We're fighting for justice right?" said Jay. "So we are in support of that, so I think this is just a plot against that."

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