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Fires spurred by anti-police violence riots cost Richmond more than $2.9M

Posted at 11:36 PM, Sep 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-05 18:47:18-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The death of George Floyd sparked demonstrations around the world, including in Richmond. Floyd, an African American man—died after a Minnesota officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes.

Richmond City Fire officials said during the period of protesting and rioting against police brutality, they responded to more than 40 protest-related fires in the city.

Data collected and released by Richmond Fire shows that 18 buildings, 12 vehicles, and 16 dumpsters were set on fire during the first few weeks of protest.

“That’s not going to solve the problem, problem still there," Richmond business owner Abbas Jahangiri said.

Abbas Jahangiri's restaurant 'Coliseum Persian Kabob’ has stood on West Broad Street since 2003. It was vandalized during the riots.

"When I walked in here, this place was just ransacked and filthy because they broke lots of soda, glasses all over," Jahangiri said. "This kind of thing is for a terrible country, not for the United States. We have to dialogue with each other to solve our problem.”

The report from Richmond fire shows that protest-related fires cost the city more than $2.9 million in damage.

"We took one step forward and now we have taken ten steps backward," Jahangiri said.

Jahangiri said he won’t let his disappointment or the destruction stop him from serving the community.

“I’m still here with the willing of the god and until the day God wants me to be here, I’ll be here. Whether with broken windows or ply windows, I’ll open my door to the people," Jahangiri said.