Cleanup Underway in Boston After Protesters Vandalize, Loot Stores

The damage was another blow to many small businesses already impacted by the coronavirus shutdown

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Cleanup is moving quickly after a night of destruction where protesters vandalized and looted numerous stores on Boston's Newbury and Boylston streets and in Downtown Crossing.

Dozens of businesses in Downtown Crossing are being boarded up after Sunday's protests over the death of George Floyd turned violent. People in the area are now coming out to see the damage.

"I saw them smashing the windows and going and stealing items out of there, running down the street with boxes in their hands, sneakers and stuff," said Sam Lewis, a security guard. "One of them was using a bat, the other was using a hammer. It was really crazy."

Cleanup was underway Monday after a night of destruction where protesters vandalized and looted numerous stores on Boston's Newbury and Boylston streets and in Downtown Crossing.

Cell phone video taken by someone at a neighboring business shows looters coming out of Men's Wearhouse with armloads of merchandise.

On Monday morning, the National Guard blocked Washington Street and military police walked the area trying to keep things under control. Numerous storefronts have shattered windows, and their products have been thrown all over the ground.

Planters were toppled on Washington Street, and mailboxes and businesses are covered in spray paint.

A Men's Wearhouse store was looted Sunday after chaos erupted following a protest against police brutality.

Stores were also boarded up on Newbury and Boylston streets, where many of the high end shops are big name retailers. But some are small businesses that suffered heavy damage.

Raj Dhanda, the owner of Neenas lighting store on Boylston Street, said his entire two-floor building was ravaged.

"There were some boxes in the way back, closed boxes. They opened the box and took specific items as if they knew exactly what they wanted," Dhanda said.

Dozens of people were arrested, several police officers have been injured and storefronts are destroyed after protesters took to the streets of Boston Sunday night.

A jewelry store on Boylston Street was vandalized, but none of the merchandise was inside because they have been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"I'm a little demoralized," said Jack Winer, manager of Lux Bond & Green. "What's going on in the country? We've been closed for almost two months now and it's harder to start now."

On Newbury Street, merchandise form the UGG store was scattered for blocks. It appeared more than half of the businesses on the street have some sort of damage.

Neighbors reported hearing glass breaking, police sirens and people yelling until 1:30 a.m.

"It's unfortunate that a few bad apples make something that's very important to others kind of diminish what the protests are about, but right now it's about solidarity and cleaning up," Mechell Grays of Boston said of the damage. "Prayerfully, a lot of these people are fully insured."

"I was so proud to be from Boston," added Vanessa Martin. "When they were doing the rally, when they did the walk... I don't understand it."

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