Rioters Smash Windows at Atlantic Avenue Businesses

Update: Sahadi’s tells us they had no windows damaged. “Our neighbors had a little graffiti but our windows and façade had zero damage.” The Bklynr story includes a photo of a boarded-over window at Urban Outfitters, which is on the opposite side of Atlantic from Sahadi’s. Bklynr reports that on Tuesday night rioters smashed windows and did other damage to 39 businesses along Atlantic Avenue, including Sahadi’s (photo). Five police officers suffered minor injuries, and nine police vehicles were vandalized. The rioters, estimated at 200, appeared to have come from an otherwise peaceful demonstration in Fort Greene Park reacting to the killing by Philadelphia police of Walter Wallace Jr., a mentally disturbed Black man holding a knife. Bklynr interviewed Kate Chura, executive director of the Atlantic Avenue BID. “’Our understanding from the NYPD is that the original march started in Fort Greene Park and this was a sort of spillover splinter group, which has kind of been the MO that we’ve seen,’ Ms. Chura said.”

For the future, Chura says she doesn’t quite know how to help businesses prepare.

“It’s always best to build relationships, but if you have people coming from nowhere it’s going to take a larger effort. Coordination, intervention. Or, everyone just goes and puts down a roll-down door. But these are businesses that are barely able to keep the doors open during the pandemic,” she said.

The Daily News reports that Mayor de Blasio condemned the violence. According to the Daily News story: “‘No violence is acceptable,’ he said. ‘Of course those offenses should be prosecuted, and I absolutely want to see those prosecutions.’”

Flickr photo by Rachael Ash

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  • Andrew Porter

    Sahadi’s too? *Sigh*…

  • Arch Stanton

    Because nothing says “support a good cause” like vandalizing small businesses that have absolutely nothing to do with the issue…

  • Reggie

    The hottest confrontation between protesters/agitators (as the case may be) and NYPD was on Atlantic between Boerum and Court. Sahadi’s may have just been in the wrong place, rather than a target like the banks.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    I wouldn’t rule out instigation by off-duty or plain-clothes cops as has happened elsewhere.

  • Jorale-man

    It’s odd – I saw the protesters heading down Clinton Street and they didn’t appear too “amped up” or ready to rumble. Kind of a small group that was just chanting and being trailed by an annoying helicopter. Something must have changed by the time they got to Atlantic and hell broke loose.

  • Arch Stanton

    Of course an “agent provocateur” senecio is possible, but without evidence I wouldn’t assume it to be so. Also, if that was the case, where were the “peaceful” demonstrators trying to stop the agitators?

  • Arch Stanton

    Sounds like you are saying the banks were legitimate targets and unfortunately Sahadi’s, et al, were collateral damage. And what makes a bank a target in a police brutality demonstration anyway?

  • TeddyNYC

    I hope we don’t get more of this next week.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    *deep breath*

    Capitalist economic structures have played as large a role in the systematic oppression of Black Americans as overtly racist policing. Banks are figureheads of those structures.

    I’m not here to condone or excuse the violence, but that’s an argument I’m familiar with and I believe it answers your question.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    It wasn’t the peaceful demonstrators’ job to stop violence that grew from anger at systemic injustice.

    They might have simply not wanted to get involved. They came out to protest police violence against Black people, not become entangled in violence themselves.

    It’s obvious from recent events that even trying to prevent violence can result in deadly action by the police. Since violence attracts cops, it is very wise to avoid being anywhere near violence—especially if your skin is browner than balsa wood.

  • Susan O’Doherty

    Or it was a different group of people.

  • Reggie

    Nope, not what I was saying.

  • urallidiots

    Wow Studio, I hope I can be as woke as you when I grow up.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    You learned a social buzzword five years ago and now you think you’re gonna go on the internet and use it to own libs huh?

  • urallidiots

    Where’s your deep breath? I thought you needed to take one before being completely condescending.

  • Arch Stanton

    Well then what did you mean? To me “Sahadi’s may have just been in the wrong place” sounds like victim blaming.

  • Arch Stanton

    *deep breath*
    So far the evidence in this event only supports the story; some of the protesters vandalized the storefronts and set fires. Until you can can produce evidence to the contrary, those are the facts. To believe otherwise is simply delusional.

    There are ways the peaceful protesters can help deescalate & disassociate the violent protesters without physical confrontation. They can chant en masse at the troublemakers to stop and disavow their actions. They can assist the police in identifying the aggressors.

    “They came out to protest police violence against Black people” A worthy cause indeed and one that I fully support, but this kind of behavior does nothing to support it.

    Altruistic protesters these are not. More like a bunch of spoiled, disillusioned punks looking for an excuse to break things.

  • Arch Stanton

    So you are saying, to them, the banks are a legitimate target.
    But then there is the matter of the stores being vandalized as well, how does that dovetail into the equation?

  • StudioBrooklyn

    Arch and I are like *this*, we go way back on here. He’s a REALLY good guy. I offer perspective that is quite accessible so if you’re reading condescension that’s on you. Try to keep up.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    I would not approach the topic of “legitimate target” for violence.

    I wasn’t there. I don’t know what happened, who made what decision, etc. I know that cops and right-wingers have been documented starting things to frame protesters. I posted some evidence earlier.

    I do think that focusing on these violent incidents, while not insignificant in their own right, takes oxygen away from the conversation about human (especially Black American) rights and dignity that should be the focus as long as we’re mentioning the protests.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    I have to disagree with you there, Arch. In this current climate it makes much more sense to me that agitators escalate these events than locals who come out because they believe in a cause.

    And we’ve seen what cops can be like; if I was in a peaceful protest I would just avoid any area that turned violent, knowing that the cops lash out fairly indiscriminately and, as far as I know, with impunity.

  • urallidiots

    I don’t doubt that Arch is a REALLY good guy. I’m not talking about Arch. I’m talking about you. And your constant need to educate everyone. All the time. Every post.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    Um, sorry for educating you?

  • urallidiots

    *condescending sigh* (did I do that correctly?)

    Educating me? Is that all you have? Is your life so lacking in meaning (and achievement) that you must spend your days oozing sanctimony on a local blog just to feel better about yourself? I’m sorry that your failures in life have made you bitter and your escape is a tiny forum where anonymity makes you feel powerful.

    Why bring Arch into this? Appeals to authority are a hallmark of people and arguments that lack substance. Seeing your ignorant worldview, I guess I should not be surprised. It is unfortunate that capitalist structures and free market meritocratic systems have beaten you down. It must be tough being mediocre. I wouldn’t know but, you shouldn’t allow yourself to be eaten alive by the envy of those that have found happiness and/or enjoyed financial success. Try not to be so miserable. Maybe spend less time talking down to everyone else and invest some energy in making yourself a better person. You’ll live longer, and better.

  • petercow

    “focusing on these violent incidents” takes the oxygen away?

    How about the incidents themselves?

  • StudioBrooklyn

    Let me get this straight: an anonymous troll with the handle “urallidiots” (lol not condescending at all) comes onto a tiny anonymous forum to do nothing except offer long-expired snark to the first commenter that doesn’t take the side of the authorities?

    Are you aware that we can see your Disqus comment history? That includes every fascist diatribe you’ve posted in the comments sections of Breitbart articles and on other authoritarian mouthpieces. Your attempt to lecture me REEKS. I’m a part of this community. Who are you?

  • StudioBrooklyn

    What about them? It’s unfortunate that it happened to them and as a community we’ll continue to give these places our businesses and hope they don’t have trouble making repairs.

    There are police officers killing Black people with impunity. Policing is among countless systems in place in this country that form a social pipeline which keeps Black people poor and powerless. These systems permeate nearly every level of our daily lives. They are unsustainable and what we’re seeing is the anger and pain they cause—and that’s generously assuming that these incidents weren’t actually caused by agitators attempting to frame protesters—just starting to boil over.

    I’ll say that right now—I don’t know about other times, but right now—I think we need to be more judicious about what we allow to dominate our conversations.

  • Heightsguy77

    StudioBrooklyn, I can normally get behind what you’re saying, but I think that your argument in the first paragraph, conflates the righteous and peaceful protests with the violence and destruction of our own community. I don’t think it’s appropriate.
    It’s not “unfortunate” what happened to these small businesses. It’s violent and dangerous and wrong. Most of these businesses are not owned by a big corporation. Behind almost every one of these small businesses is a family that is also trying to make it in this world. It’s not such a small thing for the businesses to “make repairs”. And it’s not just business. It’s a personal connection between many of these business owners, their families and the community. These people put their blood, sweat and tears into these businesses. They spend countless hours away from their families to keep them going (especially during the pandemic!). Some raise their children at the business. When the business is damaged/broken into, there is psychological trauma, not unlike your home being broken into.
    The “anger and pain” of systemic racism, does not give anyone the right to cause this destruction in our community, or any community. And if we’re being judicious about what we say in our conversations, we need to make sure that this type of violence is never condoned.

  • B.

    Some years ago, a crazy Jewish guy with a knife frightened people in his neighborhood, someone called 911, and the cops shot the psychotic Jew dead.
    White guys with knives and guns are shot. Black guys, ditto.
    Best thing for the families of crazy guys to do is keep them home and medicated. Don’t call police officers. And I didn’t notice Jews rioting when their own was killed.

  • Arch Stanton

    Drawing conclusions without evidence is a lynch-mob mentality.