Mayor, and business owners respond to destruction in Tacoma; curfew goes into effect

TACOMA, WA - Following a peaceful day of protesting in Tacoma, things turned aggressive late into the night and early morning.

Along Pacific Avenue, a row of boarded-up storefronts line the street.

“I don’t think it’s right that all of these businesses are having to put up plywood to protect themselves from what’s going on,” said Eric Hoolahan.

Hoolahan is the president of Bellevue Rare Coins.

About a dozen people smashed through the front door of his business Monday night. This incident, coming a day after his Bellevue location was also damaged in a separate protest.

“We’re looking at upward of fifty thousand dollars in damage,” he said.

The damage extends throughout the city.

“It was pretty sad to see the restaurant I worked at for five years completely destroyed,” said Makayla Troxel.

Troxel is the manager of Indochine Asian Dining Lounge.

She says the business is facing thousands in loss and damages, but despite that the restaurant is not angry at what happened.

“A broken window does not compare to the black lives that have been lost,” she said.

However, anger is something Mayor Victoria Woodards says she feels after the destruction.

“It makes me kind of angry. I wanted to come out because I wanted to prevent what happened,” said Woodards.

Throughout the day, Woodards took part in the rally and protests. Late into the evening, she intervened when protesters hit the freeway, telling some of the young people she marched with earlier in the day, to head home.

“I get that you’re angry. I get that you’re upset. I get that you want to protest, but what you’re doing now doesn’t honor George Floyd.”

Despite her efforts, parts of the city were destroyed. Woodards says she does not believe the young people responsible for the peaceful protests during the day are the ones responsible for the destruction.

“When they {peaceful protesters} go home, there is another group of people who come out, and that’s what happened down on Pacific Avenue, and that makes me really sad for our businesses,” she said.

Due to the damage and destruction, Woodards says the city imposed a curfew Tuesday night which took effect at 9:30 pm.

The city will reassess day-to-day on if the curfew needs to continue.

During the curfew, people are still permitted out to run errands, get groceries, pick up food, operate businesses.

Woodards says the focus of the curfew is on preventing illegal activity.