“They didn’t protect our people. We were all on our own.”
That criticism directed at Minneapolis officials comes from the owner of a Minneapolis manufacturing plant that was left to burn amid the riots in Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd late last month.
Kris Wyrobek, owner of 7-Sigma, which sat at the corner of East 29th Street and 26th Avenue South said, “They don’t care about my business.”
The company will try to pick up the pieces and rebuild, but it won’t be in Minneapolis, according to a Star Tribune report. Wyrobek said he can’t trust public officials who allowed his business to burn during the riots.
The business, which manufactures printing system components, normally operates until 11 p.m., but had closed early on the second night of the riots to keep employees safe. Two workers stayed behind to keep watch, the report said, and they became alarmed when the multi-unit housing project under construction across the street started on fire.
“The fire engine was just sitting there, but they wouldn’t do anything,” Wyrobek said.
In one of the earliest press conferences addressing the riots, Gov. Tim Walz called Minneapolis’ response to the mounting destruction of the city during the riots an “abject failure.”
Mayor Jacob Frey held a news conference on Monday afternoon to announce a new business and community coalition that will help advise on efforts to rebuild areas of Minneapolis destroyed by fires and rioters.
Wyrobek said it’s “too late” to keep his company in the city. “We’re cautiously optimistic” 7-Sigma can get operational again, Wyrobek said, “but we are certainly not able to do that in Minneapolis.”
At least 1,000 commercial properties were damaged in the riots, including 52 businesses that were completely destroyed, and damage estimates are expected to exceed $500 million.