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Richmond business owner on 2020 Election:'Focus on the unity'

Posted at 12:05 AM, Oct 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-31 09:33:43-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Cities around the nation are bracing for election-related unrest, including potentially weeks of sustained street actions following Tuesday's election. A new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project and MilitiaWatch put Virginia's violent outbreak risk as "moderate."

Over the summer, Richmond saw periods of civil unrest following the death of George Floyd.

Some business owners boarded up their windows after dozens of businesses were vandalized in the days and weeks following Floyd's death at the hands of a Minneapolis Police officer.

Trey Owens, who co-owns Richmond restaurant Soul Taco, said his restaurants were untouched over the summer and that he was never concerned during the periods of unrest.

“It was never a thought to me that anybody would come and bother Soul Taco and anything like that and we were perfectly fine," Owens said. "Honestly, tacos don’t have a party affiliation. If they make you that mad, that you need to come over here and bust out all the glass, I’ll sweep it up and serve out the window.”

Some business owners at The Shops at Willow Lawn in western Henrico County told CBS 6 reporter Matthew Fultz off-camera that their businesses were vandalized during the summer protests and that they were now taking precautionary steps ahead of the election.

Owens said he hoped everyone stayed peaceful next week, no matter the outcome of the election.

"We are getting into the holiday season and think it's time for us to focus on the unity that unites us rather than what divides us," Owens said.

Richmond Police said they are prepared and dedicated to ensuring safety next week.