Rioters in Baltimore, Maryland have attacked and destroyed local business all over the city, including local Korean-owned businesses.
Following the funeral of Freddie Gray, Baltimore has seen unrelenting riots across the city spanning numerous days in the name of racial equality and justice.
Although the rioters claim their anger is directed solely at police brutality and institutionalized racism within the city’s law enforcement, many local businesses have shouldered the consequences of this destructive violence despite having no relevance or involvement in the protesters’ frustrations.
Even Korean-owned businesses within the city have suffered great damages as rioters plundered and vandalized their property according to the Korean American Grocers Association (KAGRO). KAGRO has reported that the number of damaged Korean-owned businesses has risen to 40.
One such business, Oxford Tavern, owned by 49-year-old Kang Sung-ku, had its ATM ripped out of the wall by rioters. Having only owned this business for a year, Kang has no idea how much the damages will set him back financially.
A liquor store, Fireside Liquor, was looted and set ablaze by rioters rendering the building’s interior completely obliterated.
Another liquor store saw itself in peril when owner Cho Chang-hyun pleaded with rioters, begging them not to steal his products, and many rioters tried to enter his property, attempting to break in through the wall of an empty neighboring building.
Violence has occurred against the business owners themselves with the owner of a liquor store named Uptown reportedly having been taken to hospital after sustaining injuries from rioters.
KAGRO and the Korean Society of Maryland have begun plans to raise funds for the affected Korean business owners.