St. Louis protests force some small businesses to close early

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St. Louis protests hurt small businesses

St. Louis restaurant owner Aboud Alhamid on the protests in St. Louis over the acquittal of a former police officer for killing a black man in 2011 and how the protests affect small businesses.

A Missouri restaurant owner said he closed his business early on Monday, to prevent his employees from getting caught in protests in St. Louis.

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“I want all my employees to leave safely. Hopefully it’s going to be really peaceful tonight, but safe [is] better than sorry,” Aboud Alhamid, head chef and owner of Ranoush, told Lauren Simonetti on "After the Bell."

The city, which is the second-most populous in Missouri, has seen four days of protests after Jason Stockley, a white former St. Louis police officer, was acquitted in the 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith, a 24-year-old African-American man.

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On Sunday, as night fell on the city, protests started peacefully but turned violent — with demonstrators damaging storefronts and attacking police. By the end of the evening, more than 80 people were arrested, according to authorities.

According to Alhamid, protesters broke three of his restaurant’s windows, which he expects to cost a “high dollar” to repair.

“Tomorrow I’m calling a contractor, and they’re going to give us a bid about it,” he said. “It really hurts small businesses like us.”

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