Glass companies throughout the U.S. have been busy over the past week repairing broken glass and boarding up storefronts for businesses in areas impacted by protests over the death of George Floyd, who died last week in police custody. One officer involved in his death has been charged with second-degree murder while the other three officers on the scene have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
Many major U.S. cities have experienced property damage amid the protests. Some neighborhoods in Washington, D.C., have been hit hard. Tamara Sapp, with Economy Glass of Calvert Inc. in Owings, Md., says her company has been inundated with requests in Northwest D.C. for days.
“Surrounding business owners are taking pictures of our truck signage and stopping technicians asking for assistance in the protection of boarding up,” she says. “There is not enough man power or resources for the demand to secure everyone’s business.”
Some businesses in Tampa, Fla., were faced with the reality of having to spend thousands of dollars to replace broken storefronts when Ashe Glass & Mirror president Greg Harris offered to help. According to WFLA, he offered to replace glass for several businesses for free.
“I just wanted to give back to the community. The community has been good to us for 29 years and I thought it was my turn to give back,” Harris told WFLA.
One man in Charleston, S.C., was able to fix his own business’ glass. Justin Walling, owner of both Monza Pizza Bar and Charleston Architectural Glass, told The Post and Courier that his glass company normally creates leaded glass and other high-end glass displays which made it easy for him to order tempered glass to replace the pizzeria’s broken storefront.
“When the roof leaks, I can’t help,” he told the newspaper. “But when the glass breaks, I’m ready.”
New York City has also seen an increase in broken glass over the past week, leading many high-end businesses on Fifth Avenue to board up their windows in anticipation of more protests. This is a trend being reported in cities including Toronto, Dallas, Fresno, Calif., and St. Louis as businesses move to protect themselves from potential damage and looting.