Ferguson violence hits local Korean-owned businesses

November 26, 2014
People walk past a collapsed building, where protesters and looters rampaged businesses following the grand jury decision in the fatal shooting of a 18-year-old black teenager Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri, on November 25, 2014. Long-standing racial tensions in the US have flared once again after a night of violence and protests over a Missouri grand jury's decision not to indict a white policeman who shot dead the unarmed black teen. Protesters shot at police, looted stores and set cars and buildings ablaze in what police said was the worst violence since officer Darren Wilson shot dead Brown. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad../2014-11-26 07:35:38/ Copyright 2004 Yonhap News Agency All rights reserved.

People walk past a collapsed building, where protesters and looters rampaged businesses following the grand jury decision in the fatal shooting of a 18-year-old black teenager Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Mo., on November 25, 2014. (Yonhap)

By Kim Chul-soo

Korean American businesses in Ferguson, Mo., were not spared in the widespread violence and rioting that followed the grand jury’s Monday night decision to acquit a police officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager.

Lee Soo-ryong, president of St. Louis’ Korean Beauty Supply Association, said he had called and visited about 100 Korean-owned businesses in town.

At least 10 Korean-owned businesses were damaged by rioters, he said, including a Beauty Town and a Metro PCS that were set on fire.

On Aug. 9, a white police officer, Darren Wilson, shot and killed 18-year-old black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis. Heated discussion and tension on race followed for weeks, including violent riots.

The grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson was announced Monday night to more chaos.

According to Lee, Beauty Town had been in recovery after being damaged by rioters spurred to action in August after the initial break of the Michael Brown case.

Korean American Association of St. Louis President Cho Won-gu, as well as representatives of the Beauty Supply Association, have visited local stores to confirm and assess damages, he said.

According to the Associated Press, 61 people in Ferguson were arrested Monday night; 14 were injured.

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