Mayor says Raleigh is 'preparing' for possible reactions to Derek Chauvin trial but some business owners not worried

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Downtown Raleigh business owners are keeping a close eye on the Derek Chauvin trial.

Alan Horwitz's business, Reliable Jewelry & Loan in downtown Raleigh, was not affected by the weekend demonstrations.

But the family business was vandalized and looted last summer, when peaceful protests following the death of George Floyd took a turn.

12 arrested during demonstrations in downtown Raleigh Sunday

"Still nervous," Horwitz said on Monday. "Obviously with what happened last year, you're always going to be apprehensive, but I decided not to board up this time, and nothing happened. So I was very pleased with that outcome, not happy about anything getting damaged even, in the warehouse district, which I know there was a little bit but, you know, overall, pretty happy with no windows broken and no damage."

Horwitz is not ruling out boarding up. That'll depend on the Chauvin verdict.

"I think if somehow he's found innocent then I think everybody around here is going to be boarding up and we're going to be very concerned," Horwitz said.

Blake Pease, the manager of Rocket Fizz in downtown, is optimistic they won't experience anything like they did last summer, when the candy shop was vandalized.

"I don't feel the need to board up my windows anymore unless some something crazier happens," Pease said. "And it wasn't people who were in the protests who did all the vandalism. It was people from out of town who saw an opportunity. They knew the police were distracted. They came down here and decided to mess stuff up, but I don't think we're going to see that for a while, hopefully."

Clyde Cooper's Barbeque in downtown didn't take any chances and boarded up ahead of the weekend's demonstrations.

Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin sent a statement saying:

"The City is actively preparing for any potential reactions to the Derek Chauvin trial this week. We have assembled a team from our key operating departments to work in close collaboration with the Raleigh Police Department. Even though the situation is uncertain, the City is doing all it can to prepare. In these uncertain times, we appreciate everyone's patience and understanding as we work together to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all Raleigh residents and businesses."
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