Volunteers rally to clean, repair damage to businesses following Lincoln riot
Community members came together Sunday morning to repair and clean up after Saturday's protest turned violent, causing millions in damage.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Dozens of volunteers took to the street Sunday morning to clean up damage done from Saturday’s protest which turned violent.
“It makes me very sad to see vandalism,” says state senator Anna Wishart, who was helping with cleanup efforts. “It’s also very sad to me to think about all the young kids in this beautifully diverse district that I represent, worried about their own safety.”
Broken glass, spray paint and even a burned building can be found scattered along the Lincoln Mall, stretching from the Hall of Justice all the way to the state Capitol building.
“Peacefully protest, but don’t ruin other people’s businesses,” says volunteer Dillon Siebe. He and Xavier Packett came to Lincoln last night from Beatrice. They say they were trying to stop the damage from happening.
“We were here last night, we were the ones that had the fire extinguishers going in and out of buildings putting the fires out,” Packett says.
The Universal–Inland Insurance building was scorched, but Dillon and Xavier say that overall, the damage could have been even worse.
“In the end, I mean, we helped these businesses out and I’d rather it be one building that got burned down rather than multiple other buildings,” Siebe says.
It didn’t take long for a group of volunteers to start cleaning up what was left behind Saturday night.
Senator Wishart says that’s what’s beautiful about Lincoln, but also that it’s time to make a change so this doesn’t continue.
“I am committed as a state senator to working for positive change to combat systemic racism and I hope that everyone will join me in that commitment,” Wishart says.
During Mayor Gaylor Baird’s press conference Sunday, Lincoln Police Chief Jeff Bliemeister says they haven’t been able to fully assess the damage done to the businesses along the mall, but they expect it to be in the ‘tens of millions of dollars’ range.