SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Business owners in Downtown Sacramento were on edge Thursday, ahead of another protest calling for justice for Stephon Clark.
While local agencies including Sacramento County Courts let their staff leave early, businesses on J Street are staying open, including one that’s been targeted several times before.
“They are coming in through the door, opening the door like this, they grab the soda like this, then they go,” said Kamal Singh, owner of the Subway on J Street.
Singh says since the protests started last week, there have been looters rushing his shop.
“We are nervous here because of our property, they can damage our property,” Singh said.
Singh tried locking the door but says at one point protesters tried knocking it down. He says he’s prepared for what may happen now.
“I’m getting an extra employee today so he can guard the door,” added Singh.
Just down the street at Cilantro’s, owner Hugo Cervantes is also keeping a watchful eye.
“You just don’t know what to expect,” Cervantes said.
Cervantes came close to locking up last week but says nothing too crazy transpired from the protests.
He was worried things wouldn’t go as planned Thursday.
“I made it clear to my employees that if they feel intimidated or anything, just shut the doors, and we will wait until they go by,” Cervantes added.
While Singh and Cervantes plan to stay open through Thursday evening, there was talk some state agencies aren’t taking the risk.
“There was some chatter in the office that if it gets busy down here we may leave early,” said Carol Singleton.
She says she’s been able to dodge all the traffic caused by the protests but says she understands why so many people are taking to the streets to be heard.
“It’s maybe one of the only ways they can get across how they really feel by causing a disruption,” Singleton said.
Singh is on the other side of the argument. He says acting out is hurting the community and the cause.
“If they are protesting they should protest in a nice way not go loot people up you know?” Singh said.
Protesters blocked some streets in Sacramento on Thursday, but the protests were largely peaceful and without incident.