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City That Once Guided a Nation Now Shows Its Cracks

  • July 01, 2020

“I feel very tired,” said Ms. Park, who has been battling cancer during the pandemic.

Ms. Davis, who runs the clothing store, also received a tip from friends monitoring Facebook that her business, Janet’s Just for You, was a target. The daughter of a Peoria police detective, and a leader in the Black community, Ms. Davis, 63, went on a local radio station to plead for the looting to stop.

“They say they are about Black Lives Matter, but if you break into my business, you are taking a Black life,” said Ms. Davis, who opened her shop 28 years ago.

Although her store was spared, she blames the mayhem on young people outside Peoria, who “hyped up” local residents.

Ms. Davis has no plans to reopen to the general public soon. Taking down the plywood costs money, and she’s not sure how good business would be.

“I am selling designer clothing,” she said. “I want people to feel good, not wondering whether they should run or duck when they are in my store.”

Travis Mohlenbrink reopened four of his seven restaurants in June for outdoor and partial indoor dining. None of them were damaged by the looting. Late last month, though, the windows in five of his catering vans were smashed, the first time his business had ever been vandalized.

“I hope there are enough people who have been made aware of the issues and the dialogue can continue,” Mr. Mohlenbrink said. “I am an optimist in general. But the realist side of me is scared about our future. A lot of things have to change.”

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/01/business/protests-peoria.html

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