New York City’s SoHo neighborhood became one of the retail destinations across the country ravaged by looters over the weekend as national unrest continued in the wake of the death of George Floyd.
Overnight, footage from media outlets and social media users in the area showed people smashing the windows of designer boutiques including Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci, as well as department store Bloomingdale’s and athletic chain Adidas, among other shops. Birkenstock, whose store is at the corner of Spring and Greene streets, confirmed that it had to put in place full-time security and board up windows. (All locations had been shuttered over the past couple months as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.)
Some were photographed or captured on video stealing luxury wares, boxes of shoes and other merchandise, while a wave of protesters were seen clashing with police. Across the city, dozens of people were apprehended, with some reports indicating about 250 to 300 arrests on Sunday night through early Monday morning.
This morning, photos showed the neighborhood’s streets still littered with looted goods and many doors vandalized, with broken glass scattered across sidewalks.
Early on Sunday, Mayor Bill de Blasio had rejected the idea of a curfew, which has been enforced in other metropolitan cities in the United States where similar scenes had played out.
“We all better get back to the humanity here,” he said. “The protesters are human beings. They need to be treated with tremendous respect. The police officers are human beings. They need to be treated with tremendous respect.”
Over the weekend, riots across the country continued over the death of Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed in Minneapolis on May 25 by white police officer Derek Chauvin. It marked the latest in a string of killings of African-Americans at the hands of cops and other authorities, igniting grief and rage from coast to coast.
Numerous fashion and footwear brands — including Reebok, Nordstrom and Nike — have called out such injustices. A growing number of fashion firms have also pledged donations in the fight against racism.