Hundreds help clean up in Raleigh after stores ‘destroyed’ and looted

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Cleanup of the damage caused in downtown Raleigh began before dawn Sunday as people from all walks of life came together to lend a helping hand.

“There are shops down here that are destroyed,” said John Pugh, owner of House of Swank. “Absolutely destroyed, and stripped to the bone.”

A CVS Pharmacy and a clothing store on Harnett Street were both looted Saturday and dozens of stores and restaurants had their windows broken and interiors damaged.

Pugh says after listening to sirens until 3 a.m., there’s a new sound sweeping across downtown Raleigh.

“I came down this morning and there were hundreds of people helping,” said Pugh. “It was amazing.”

“I think when people came and you started seeing people help out it didn’t matter what happened last night,” said Cameron Blake. “It is what is going on right now, and how we can help out.”

Cortina Clarkson and Blake were among the first wave of people contributing to the cleanup downtown.

“While we understand the movement, and we’re totally for the movement, we don’t understand any acts of violence or any acts of looting and destroying peoples property,” said Cortina Clarkson.

“You can replace a door,” said Pugh. “You can replace a window. You can replace shirts, it’s whatever. You can’t replace lives, and that’s what yesterday was all about.”

While insurance will cover much of the damage, Pugh says there’s a lesson to be learned as we pickup the pieces.

“We’re OK,” said Pugh. “We’re going to be resilient, and Raleigh is too. Just be kind to each other.”

“Please don’t hold it against everyone,” said Clarkson. “There was a unified effort for the negative last night. We need a unified effort for the build back so lets stay strong as one.”

At this time it’s unclear if there are more protests planned for downtown Raleigh.

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