SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Downtown Sacramento business owners felt relief Friday morning after avoiding damage from Thursday night’s destructive demonstrations.
At his J Street restaurant, Hugo Cervantes spent his Thursday prepared for the worst after getting word about a possible destructive demonstration looming ahead. He boarded up Cilantro’s ready for what could have come.
“Lately you don’t know what to believe,” Cervantes said. “It was kind of up in the air and I decided not to take any chances.”
Many other businesses did the same as they geared up for two planned protests — one peaceful and one not. Several area small businesses have taken hit after hit with the pandemic, and Cervantes feared what else could happen when the second, rowdy group rolled through.
“You’re drowning and trying to catch some air,” Cervantes said. “It’s a little stressful.”
This time around, businesses were spared. But still, the damage was done. Crews spent Friday morning cleaning up government buildings tagged with graffiti. Demonstrators’ words call out cops in a time of civil unrest. Among the buildings hardest hit were the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney’s Office. Their doors and windows shattered, forcing crews to quickly clean up broken glass.
Across the street from one of the protests’ hubs, Cesar Chavez Park, Arturo Hernandez opened his shoe repair shop. He said he supports peaceful protests and their goals, but can’t get behind the destructive groups diluting that message.
“Talk peace. Talk is the only way,” Hernandez said. “You destroy – it’s not good.”
Though this second group of demonstrators argued their damage is justified, and say community officials protect property over their people. With rumors of more ransacking in the future, Cervantes stays positive.
“Have faith it’s going to get better,” Cervantes said. “We have to think like that.”
Feeling both relieved and resilient, but ready to have his guard up in case more chaos ensues.
Sacramento Police say despite the vandalism, no arrests were made.