Businesses in Downtown Roanoke keep doors open during peaceful protests

Local News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Over the weekend, dozens gathered in Downtown Roanoke’s Center in the Square to protest police brutality. However, business — only feet away — operated as usual.

“It shows a lot of trust in the community,” said Roanoke resident Justin Terry.

Terry has enjoyed being able to go out to eat with friends in the square since businesses re-opened under Phase One guidelines. It’s a different sight than what Terry’s relatives have seen on Virginia’s east coast.

“They’ve closed down the Hampton Roads Bridge tunnel. They’ve been looting businesses. They’ve been going wild. And to see that just on the other side of Virginia we could do the same thing but take it peacefully and not disturb businesses, keep the economy flowing, keep everything flowing for the community, that’s beautiful.”

“I think Roanoke has a pretty fair amount of peaceful people, here,” said General Manager for Jack Brown’s, Alexander Harless. “You know? I’m not saying that people don’t care. I’m just saying that people are handling it properly.”

Harless said Jack Brown’s has enjoyed its new outdoor eating setup. Harless saw for himself how customers and protesters co-existed during the weekend’s protests.

“A lot of folks were actually having peaceful conversations, yesterday, about the topics in which the protests are happening,” Harless said. “It was pretty cool to see people handled it in a civil way.”

Protests in Roanoke have been peaceful throughout Sunday, May 31 and Monday, June 1.

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