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vehicle on fire; black business owner Rochester

A black business owner was one of the most recent targets of violent rioters in Rochester.

A Rochester business owner who put a “Proud to be Black Owned” sign outside of his store was left with three destroyed U-Haul trucks after rioters set them on fire.

Jesse Barksdale, whose business includes a U-Haul service, told local reporters that he was “bounced out of bed to respond” and that he was “livid over the destruction of his business.”

Protests have taken place over the death of Daniel Prude, a black man who died after an interaction with Rochester police in March. Although, rioters – apparently outraged by the incident – seemed to ignore the sign Barksdale had displayed outside of his store.

Following the attack, Barksdale’s business posted a statement on Facebook that read “We certainly are not the enemy in this scenario and are deeply saddened by the violence that occurred last night. In these trying times, we as Rochestarians need to COME TOGETHER for our city and build each other up, not destroy one another regardless of dividing factors.”

During protests over the weekend, several officers were also injured.

While protesters and rioters claim to be fighting against racial injustice, some of their actions prove otherwise. As Rochester rioters attack and destroy black-owned businesses, we’re left to wonder whether or not racial justice is truly their end goal.

Regardless of our race or background, we as Americans need to continue condemning these riots and supporting leaders and institutions that are working against the violence in order to protect us all.

If you agree, sign up and join Americans United For Values today!