It’s no surprise that preventing business owners from protecting their own property hasn’t beautified the streets of Minneapolis
Violent riots broke out in Minneapolis again on Wednesday night. This time, chaos rocked the city after misinformation falsely suggesting the police had killed an unarmed black man went viral. The violent outbreak sadly came as no shock, because by now, Minneapolis is no stranger to destructive riots.
After all, Minneapolis is where the tragic police killing of George Floyd took place in May, sparking nationwide unrest. During the aftermath of that incident, violent riots consumed the city. Countless businesses were looted, vandalized, or burned to the ground, and multiple people were killed. In a jarring example of how deadly this chaos was, police found a charred body in a Minneapolis pawnshop days after the riots died down. Arsonists had murdered a man, possibly without even realizing it.
Yet even in the face of wanton destruction and violence, city ordinances are preventing Minneapolis business owners from protecting themselves and their property. As reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the city currently bans exterior security shutters. These are the type of shutters they pull down over a mall storefront when it closes, that would make it much harder to break in and loot it. They also prevent windows from being broken, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars to replace.
Why are security shutters banned in Minneapolis? Because city officials say they “cause visual blight,” and “create the impression that an area is ‘unsafe’ and ‘troublesome.’”
Now, many business owners are running up against this regulation as they seek to protect their reopened stores from future flare-ups of violence. (The earlier riots destroyed at least 1,500 Minneapolis businesses.) Liquor store owner John Wolf saw his store looted after rioters broke in through his windows and stole more than $1 million in alcohol. He’s fuming at the city regulations that stop him from protecting his property.
“Times have changed,” Wolf told the Star-Tribune. “I am going to spend millions of dollars to bring my business back, and I don’t want to buy 20 window panes and have them broken the first day. Property owners should have