Philadelphia area store owners, community leaders move forward after Chauvin verdict

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The whirl of drills driving screws out of wood again reverberated across the Philadelphia area Wednesday.

Construction crews and store owners worked to restore storefronts that were boarded up ahead of the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.

"I kinda just waited to see what was going to happen," said Jamil Scurry, owner of La'vanter Boutique in North Philadelphia.

Scurry didn't board up this time as others did.

His store along Germantown Avenue businesss corridor was looted twice before during last summer's unrest and rebuilt thanks to community support.

He said, to some extent, he knew things would work out.

"It feels like a weight has been lifted," Scurry said.

Amanda Price, the corridor manager for the Broad Germantown and Erie Commercial Corridor, has spent countless hours here working with police, businesses, and residents during the initial unrest and beyond.

"What was the reaction from the businesses that you saw?" asked Action News reporter George Solis.

"I think they were too emotional to say anything," Price said.

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Former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted Tuesday of murder and manslaughter for pinning George Floyd to the pavement with his knee on the Black man's neck.

Some stores remained boarded up. Price said that didn't come as much of a surprise.

"The sentencing hasn't been done yet, and he does have a right to appeal," she explained.

Still, for work crews who were tasked with putting the boards up, taking them down comes with a high level of satisfaction.

Boards put up by Retail Maintenance Specialists and Construction at Foot Lockers around the area will now go into storage, only to be pulled out in emergencies.

"Hope maybe never. Maybe for a hurricane or something, but not a protest," said employee Tom Fariello.

Even in the midst of a cloudy and rainy day, many spent it looking on the bright side.

"If the verdict hadn't have went the way it went, it would have been hell," said Upper Darby shopper Henrietta Spady.
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