ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A peaceful protested snowballed into a night of violence. The rally was seeking justice for George Floyd and other instances of police brutality on Saturday afternoon and hundreds–if not thousands– marched the streets of Rockford.
Demonstrators ended up at Police District 1 Headquarters where police eventually fired tear gas and ordered the large group of people to leave after rocks were thrown at officers. As the night progressed, several storefronts in the city were met with smashed windows and looting.
Zavius Jewelers is left picking up the pieces after $50,000 worth of jewelry was stolen—just one of many businesses devastated.
“After being closed for ten weeks and now this is our surprise after one day open for business,” explained, Luis Pavez, the owner of Zavius Jewelers.
Pavez has owned the store for 30 years and last night he received the phone call no business owner wants to get. He was greeted by shattered doors, a sea of glass, and over 8 display cases now sitting empty. Several bullet holes were found inside the store.
“I feel bad. I’ve been violated by intruders who come into my store, break into my store, destroyed my store for no reason. I didn’t do anything to anybody,” Pavez explained.
He said he understands why the protests are going on but he can’t help but feel frustrated and confused.
“You’ve been closed for ten weeks and then you open and now you have close to repair what somebody destroyed from you,” Pavez added.
He says his biggest relief is that all his employees are safe.
“Nobody was injured nobody was hurt the material part is replaceable you can’t replace human people,” Pavez said. “Violence doesn’t solve any problems we create more conflicts, I’m more on the peace side I think peace will solve more problems.
For now, the jewely store will remained closed until the damages are repaired.
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