PALM DESERT — From Minneapolis to Beverly hills, store windows have been shattered and stores looted amid chaos and destruction in the aftermath of yet another unarmed black man dying at the hands of a police officer. Could Palm Desert stores along the affluent El Paseo be next?
The Palm Desert Area Chamber of Commerce is concerned it might be. In a Facebook post, the Chamber spokesperson says Palm Desert Police informed the organization that a “march” is planned on El Paseo this afternoon, Monday, June 1, in support of George Floyd, who died on Memorial Day while in police custody.
In its Facebook post, the Chamber said it wanted businesses to be prepared in the event the “march” descended into looting, fires, and vandalism. With that, business began boarding up their storefronts,
The Palm Desert City Council announced on Twitter it was closing El Paseo to traffic today.
More than 4,000 people were arrested across the country during weekend demonstrations, according to the Associated Press.
Third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges have been brought against Derek Chauvin, the white police officer accused of kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes, while Floyd repeatedly said, “I can’t breathe.” They were his final three words.
They have become a rallying cry for those wanting social justice.
The National Guard has been activated in 20 states and Washington, D.C.
The National Retail Federation today issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay regarding incidents involving retail stores across the country following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis:
“It is with deep dismay and shared outrage that our communities express their anger and frustration through peaceful protests over the unjustifiable death of George Floyd last week in Minneapolis.
“Yet racial injustice continues. There is a real problem and divide in this country that we share the responsibility to address. It requires leadership in the municipal, state and federal levels of government, in our schools, our places of worship, our businesses and our homes, so we can work together — honestly, transparently and inclusively — to find solutions.
“Defacing, looting and plundering businesses, whether viewed as a direct outgrowth of fury or an opportunistic act of vandalism and theft, impedes progress and healing. Of primary concern to our retailers is the safety of their teams, the communities they serve and the emotional and physical well-being of their African American colleagues and customers. Retailers are committed to the values of diversity, inclusion and opportunity and that has always been at the heart of our industry. The actions of a few are impacting not just stores, but also putting at risk the people who work and shop there.
“We must stand together to stop racial injustice. We must work together to create greater understanding of the challenges faced by African American men and women, young and old, in communities large and small. We urge people to stop looting and destruction under the name of protest. It denies access to goods, services and jobs for those who need help the most, and takes focus away from the conversation we must have if we are to heal these wounds — not with talk, but through action.”
- Palm Desert Chamber on Facebook: Facebook
- Pink Club: Facebook