Baltimore curfew impacts local businesses
The curfew imposed by state authorities last week in the US city of Baltimore has apparently damaged local businesses.
The curfew was imposed after violence broke out between police and angry protesters over the killing of Freddie Gray, an African-American who died on April 19 while he was in police custody.
Gray’s death sparked nationwide demonstrations and riots in his home town of Baltimore, Maryland.
The curfew begins from 10 pm to 5 am every day and people must be indoors unless they are experiencing a medical emergency.
Local businesses such as restaurants and late-night grocery stores suffered from the curfew.
Some businesses are already reporting an average loss of $2,000 dollars a night which they said will continue to add up unless the curfew is lifted soon.
Authorities have so far kept mum on the financial loss of the riots and negative impacts on local business.
When asked about financial loss, Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts told reporters on Saturday, “We recognize the concerns over the curfew.”
According to local media, the curfew has especially hit small business and civil workers harder than government employees.
“The imposed curfew, while unfortunate, is a necessary precaution to ensure the safety of our local residents, employees and patrons,” said Brian McComas, a business owner in Baltimore.
The city is being overrun by thousands of troops from the National Guard who was ordered to keep the protesters demonstrating against police brutality in check.
“We are not here to stay in the manner that you think we are in terms of the military,” said the state’s senior military officer Major General Linda Singh.
“My focus is ensuring that we keep everything in a safe manner and we pull out, we as a military, pull out in the same manner that we came in, which is very calm,” he added.
The curfew was supposed to last for a week and should be lifted later on Sunday, but this has not been officially ordered yet as the situation in the city still remains tense.
The governor of Maryland urged citizens to make Sunday a day of “prayer and peace.”
“I pray that tomorrow will be a day of reflection and will serve as a foundation for how we all conduct ourselves in the days and months to come,” Governor Larry Hogan said in a statement on Saturday.
Many civil rights activists in Maryland and elsewhere across the US continued to voice their disapproval over ongoing police brutality that usually targets minorities.