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At epicenter of Minneapolis riots, a reckoning is underway

Adam Belz, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Business News

MINNEAPOLIS -- A liquor store was one of the first buildings touched by the rage of a crowd that had watched a white police officer press his knee into George Floyd's neck until he died.

Looters hit Minnehaha Lake Wine & Spirits twice the first night of protests as Steve Krause, the owner, watched by surveillance camera from his home across town.

Two nights later the store burned down. Flames flung the red marquee onto a pile of mangled metal in what used to be the basement.

Krause plans to rebuild what is now a third-generation business, but "there are bigger issues in society," he said from the sidewalk on E. Lake Street, a place still ringing with the echoes of Floyd's death and the public's furious response. He gestured at the hole in the ground that was his store.

"If this is a sacrifice to accomplish a greater good, so be it," Krause said.

At the epicenter of the riots that happened a month ago, a reckoning is underway. Dozens of buildings burned within a quarter-mile of the corner of Lake and Minnehaha, and people there are wrestling with whether the eruption of lawlessness served a purpose.

 

Starting the long journey to rebuild, they're veering from grief to hope and reconciling how the destruction of their businesses brought the world's attention to George Floyd's death and the cause of racial injustice.

The wreckage that started at the Third Police Precinct spread as far as north Minneapolis and South St. Paul, causing an estimated $500 million in damage.

Hundreds of business and property owners, many of them immigrants, remain angry the city and state did not protect them. A manufacturer whose plant burned near the Third Precinct station said he will not rebuild in Minneapolis.

'Where are the police?'

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