President Donald Trump made a pit stop in Minneapolis Monday to speak with a group of business owners before heading to his final destination of Mankato.
The event, which took place on the tarmac of Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport, featured six business owners whose “dreams were burned to the ground” during May’s George Floyd riots.
“For these brave patriots, all they wanted was to live the American dream – to start a business and a family, to give back to the community that they call home and that they love. While the city’s liberal mayor refused to defend its citizens, which was incredible, their lives were destroyed,” Trump began the event. “My message to Minnesota is clear: I am here to help you. We will bring back law and order to your community.”
John Wolf, owner of Chicago Lake Liquors, said “he called 911 over 10 times without any response all while watching looters damage my building and haul away product.”
“The feeling of helplessness I had, knowing that no one was coming, is indescribable. I faced three nights of looting, six fires, three feet of standing water, and over $1 million worth of stolen and damaged product,” said Wolf.
“There’s nothing more important for elected officials than providing safety to residents and businesses. Without that, nothing else works. We need real leaders that make tough decisions. Actions should have consequences. Without consequences, people feel emboldened to do as they want. What we need is law and order. I pay a lot of taxes, and in return there is an understanding: the city protects me. I held up to my end, the city of Minneapolis didn’t,” he continued.
An auto-repair shop owner who emigrated from Ethiopia said he was told by Minneapolis officials that he had to pay his property taxes before the debris could be cleared away.
“Following the protest of the killing of George Floyd in south Minneapolis, my auto repair shop was completely destroyed,” he said.
“I’m here to build a new life and pursue the American dream. I’m here today to say no to this kind of action. Nobody should be through this and this should not happen to anyone,” he added. “This is the only way myself and my two little ones live from. I’m strong. I’m here to fight and to stand up again.”
KB Balla, a business owner and firefighter, said he immigrated to Minnesota from Liberia 25 years ago and always dreamed about opening up his own bar.
“My wife and I worked so hard, saved up to have our dream come true,” he said. “Due to the rioting that was happening in the city, our bar was burned down and we have to start over.”
Jim Stage, owner of Lloyd’s Pharmacy, said he grew up going to the establishment, which he purchased in 2014.
“As Mr. President said, on the night of May 28 my pharmacy was looted for five hours and then it was burned to the ground that evening,” Stage said. “Thank you, Mr. President, for fighting for law and order in America’s cities, and we ask that other politicians rise to the same challenge of protecting our businesses, our neighborhoods.”