While looting and rioting continue to escalate following the killing of George Floyd, people are now learning about a Black business owner who was devastated by a similar incident in 1992.
According to Daily Mail, the man's story came into the spotlight when a video from the 1992 Los Angeles riots recently surfaced online. The clip shows the heartbroken man pleading with rioters as they unleashed chaos in the streets after the police officers who severely beat Rodney King were acquitted.
"Don't burn down my store. I worked too hard for this," the unidentified man yelled while standing in the street. "It's not right. It's not right. It's not right what y'all doing. I came from the ghetto too. Same as all of you did."
As a few people around the man tried to calm him down, he continued to express his sorrow.
"You call this Black power," he said. "Why destroy my truck? Why steal my computer? I tried to make it. Don't you understand that? Did y'all see it? I tried to make it."
According to Daily Mail, a TikTok user posted the video and compared it to the current uprisings, saying "open y'all's eyes. It's not a protest no more."
Many social media users have expressed sympathy for the man as the video was shared on Twitter and Instagram.
My heart breaks for this man. And the ignorance and thoughtlessness of those who vandalized him.
— END_JRN (@jrn_end) May 31, 2020
People who saw the video begged for today's rioters to learn from history.
It's all true and history is repeating itself. Stop burning down your own shops and businesses! You are only hurting yourselves!
— koboldwizard (@koboldwizard) May 31, 2020
Some people noted how it was even more difficult to raise funds back in the day.
There wasn't any online fundraisers then so this was heartbreaking.
— PTHero (@IAmPTHero) May 31, 2020
The current protests have continued for more than a week after police killed Floyd in Minneapolis. While some have been peaceful, violence has erupted at demonstrations around the country.
According to The New York Times, the protests have spread to at least 75 cities and reached the White House gates. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey pleaded with residents to stop the destruction of local businesses.
“You’re not getting back at the police officer that tragically killed George Floyd by looting a town,” the mayor said. “You’re not getting back at anybody.”
Police have been blamed for instigating the violence in some cases, and other opportunists have been accused of using the protests to commit crimes.
“We are now confronting white supremacists, members of organized crime, out of state instigators, and possibly even foreign actors to destroy and destabilize our city and our region,” Frey wrote on Twitter.
We are now confronting white supremacists, members of organized crime, out of state instigators, and possibly even foreign actors to destroy and destabilize our city and our region.
— Mayor Jacob Frey (@MayorFrey) May 30, 2020
In the case of King, outrage followed after the public saw a video of police brutally beating the Black man. The four officers charged for the beating, three of whom were white, were then acquitted, leading to five days of riots in Los Angeles, NPR reported.
"When the verdict came out, it was a stunner for people coast to coast. My jaw dropped," Jody David Armour, a criminal justice and law professor at the University of Southern California, told NPR. "There was ocular proof of what happened. It seemed compelling. And yet, we saw a verdict that told us we couldn't trust our lying eyes. That what we thought was open and shut was really 'a reasonable expression of police control' toward a Black motorist."