Responding to a call from Downtown Sacramento Partnership and Midtown Association, volunteers began showing up at 7 a.m. on June 1 to clean up around several businesses in downtown Sacramento that had been damaged during national protests over the weekend in response to the May 25 police killing of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis. Two autoposies found that Floyd’s cause of death was homicide; one of four former officers involved has been arrested.
The volunteers staged at Ali Youssefi Square at Seventh and K streets, then fanned out to clean up graffiti, broken windows and other damage that included scores of businesses still trying to recover after being closed since mid-March due to COVID-19. Businesses such as Macy’s at Downtown Commons, Target on Broadway and BevMo on J Street suffered damage, plus several locally owned ones, including Sharif Jewelers and Tony’s Delicatessen & Catering. Some other buildings, such as the offices for Disability Rights California on K Street, were also damaged.
“People have been coming up all morning asking to help,” said Dewana Ljung, the director of retail operations at TRUE, a thrift store for the anti-domestic abuse nonprofit WEAVE at 18th and K streets, as she and Marnie Shuey, WEAVE’s human resources director, cleaned up damage.
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