A store owner in New York is speaking out following the destructive riots and looting that severely hurt his business on Monday night.
“The quarantine hit me hard. I closed completely for almost two months. We were just getting back up on our feet with online sales,” 25-year-old Oscar Izaguirre, who owns Oscar’s Gold & Diamonds, told the New York Post Saturday.
His parents opened the shop in the Bronx after moving from Peru and worked hard to put him and his siblings through college.
When friends called Monday to warn him that rioters were headed his way, Izaguirre said he felt “terrified.”
“There’s millions of dollars of merchandise. Along with 15 or so friends, I moved everything to a safe location,” he recalled, adding that he later watched men with sledgehammers break into the store via a security camera.
By the time I got there, there were gunshots and fires on the street. Some people had weapons: crowbars, bricks. I was afraid they’d burn up my store, but I stood 20 feet away and said nothing. I was afraid for my life. For several hours, I watched looters go into my store and break the cameras, bash the glass cases, destroy the wiring, even knock out the ceiling tiles. Every store around me got trashed, and I did not hear one rant for justice or for George Floyd. Not in The Bronx, not that night. That night, they targeted minorities. They were opportunists who just wanted to steal.
However, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said Friday that rioters arrested for “low-level” crimes, such as unlawful assembly or disorderly conduct, would not face any charges, according to Breitbart News.
“The announcement means the overwhelming majority of hundreds of rioters in New York City will likely not face any criminal prosecution,” the report noted.
Despite the violent protests and demonstrations that swept across the city recently, Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted Sunday that officials had committed to moving resources from the New York Police Department (NYPD) to “youth and social services as part of our City’s budget”:
This morning we committed to move resources from the NYPD to youth and social services as part of our City’s budget.
Our young people need to be reached, not policed.
We can do this AND keep our city safe.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) June 7, 2020
Saturday, Izaguirre noted that by breaking into and stealing from his store, the looters sent a message that said he did not “deserve” what he and his family worked so hard to achieve.
“But I’m a minority, too. My family and I have worked our whole lives for this,” he concluded.