Albuquerque business owners clean up mess after overnight riot


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The city of Albuquerque is still working to pick up the pieces after rioters went on a rampage downtown. Monday morning, shards of glass and broken windows were visible everywhere along the Central corridor.

Many of the business owners in Downtown Albuquerque have boarded up their buildings. Business owners say this is not an effective way to send a message. “The disappointment is I’m afraid this will take away from the narrative and what people are protesting,” says Carrie Phillis, the owner of Effex Nightclub.

Sunday night’s Black Lives Matter protest started off peacefully as thousands marched between the University of New Mexico and downtown. Most of those people had gone home when the trouble started before midnight, as rioters set fires in the streets, broke windows, and even fired shots at police. This was all sparked by the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police.

The Albuquerque Police Department in riot gear, tried to clear out the crowd of 200-300 people from midnight until after 5:00 a.m. Monday morning, many business owners woke up to find their windows shattered and graffiti covering their business.

A group of volunteers made their way downtown to help the businesses clean up as best they could. “The men here are volunteering to clean up. We’re taking out the broken glass from the bank building there,” says Michael Gomez of U-Turn for Christ.

Many of the business owners say they are hearing there might be another protest Monday night. With that possibility, many of them are boarding up their businesses to try and prevent any further damage.

A lot of businesses in downtown are restaurants and bars that were forced to close two and a half months ago because of the coronavirus. They say all this destruction was just another blow to their business.

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