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Businesses, police prepare for the worst after Saturday looting

Andrew Hyman
Updated: May 31, 2020 11:56 PM
Created: May 31, 2020 11:51 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Outside Turcott's Taproom in Rochester, a crew of about seven people was at work, as the sound of drills and saws hummed along with sounds of passing cars on Monroe Avenue.

The crew was busy putting up reinforced wood boards on doors, and windows along the outside of the bar. The work started earlier in the day, right next door at JD Oxfords Pub, its owner Marty Cordy was among those working on Turcott’s, he had brainstormed the idea and pitched it to the taproom.

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"I said I was doing it, and I was getting some plywood and they said grab us some," Cordy said.

The move to board up joins up with several other businesses along Monroe Avenue, and around other parts of the city after a string of looting incidents damaged several stores Saturday night.

The looting happened hours after a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest ended in Rochester, and violent incidents popped up across the area.

Cordy's other bar, Murphy's Law Irish Pub on East Avenue, had its windows smashed Saturday night, but nothing was taken.

"I’m just trying to protect [my bar] that's all," Cordy said.

Though other businesses took a different approach, a few doors down from Oxford's, at Blinking Pretty Lashes, owners had its windows unprotected, though there were messages printed on paper plates, which pronounced the place as a "black-owned" business and included a call for an end to violence.

Then, at Axes and Ales bar on East Avenue, the message scales several feet and several hand-drawn comments on large pieces of paper that stretch over the bar’s long glass windows.

"We literally just put it up, and started writing on it," manager Justin Caldarelli said.

And soon, people followed, as the paper wall was almost completely covered in signatures, with words of hope and love, while also reflecting on messages shared at Saturday’s peaceful protest

"[The idea is] have anyone just come in right and write whatever they wanted to feel, however, they felt," Caldarelli said.

A smaller protest Sunday at Rochester’s Liberty Pole was also reportedly peaceful. People in the community also banded together to clean several looted and vandalized stores around Rochester Sunday morning.

Though what happened after the protests was still on their minds, and like with business owners, police were prepared.

Both Monroe County is under a curfew from 9 p.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Monday and Rochester and Greece are under a curfew until 7 a.m. Monday, both RPD and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office will be joined by roughly 200 additional troopers from the New York State Police, those of which were sent by Governor Cuomo.

“People tried to break us yesterday,” RPD Chief La’Ron Singletary said. “They tried to break the Rochester Police Department,  that didn't happen yesterday and it's not gonna happen today and it's not gonna happen tomorrow.”

Both police and town leaders in the town of Greece announced beefed up security efforts at Greece Ridge Mall, as well.


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