Black DC business owner hit by looters has ‘mixed feelings’

The Black & White Look Optical eyewear store in Northwest. (Courtesy Jessica McClain)

As looters targeted businesses in D.C. during severe unrest that broke out in the early morning hours Monday over George Floyd’s death, one business on U Street was hit particularly hard.

The Black & White Look Optical eyewear store in Northwest lost 90% of its inventory and items inside were smashed.

“Every single showcase was glass,” said owner Jessica McClain. “They pretty much used bricks and hammers.”

McClain has her security camera hooked up to her phone so she was able to watch the looting happen in real time.

“It was a very sad moment,” she said.

McClain is now waiting to hear from her insurance company and says it will take at least a couple of weeks for her business to get back up and running.

In the meantime, she launched an online fundraiser, hoping to speed up the process.

“My shelves are all empty,” McClain said.

The looting happened during nationwide protests that followed after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Floyd, who is African American, was killed when a white police officer put a knee on his neck as he was being taken into custody.

As a business who is black, McClain shared her thoughts on why the destruction happened.

“There is a bigger issue,” McClain said. “I’m raising a black son, so I really had a lot of mixed feelings. These items can be replaced so I have to look at the bigger picture.”

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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