Owners of a Minneapolis diner are taking Mayor Jacob Frey to court after their business was burned down during the George Floyd riots, claiming the mayor’s “inaction” kicked off the upsurge in violence that cost them their livelihoods.
Kacey White and Charles Stotts are demanding $4.5 million in damages from Frey and the city following being repeatedly targeted by dangerous Black Lives Matter and Antifa mobs, resulting in the destruction of the Town Talk Diner & Gastropub on East Lake Street after Floyd’s death in police custody on May 25.
The federal suit claims that from the day of Floyd’s death until May 28, Frey and the city “continuously deviated” from crowd control measures that were being enacted by the Minneapolis Police Department, National Guard, and some local leaders.
It charges Frey of attempting to originally “negotiate with and appease the rioters rather than give law enforcement the authority to confront criminal acts with enough force to restore law and order.”
“A primary responsibility of local elected officials is to protect the public,” the suit noted, as first reported by the Star Tribune. “The inaction on the part of Mayor Frey led to an increase in violence.”
In the early hours of May 28, a far-left mob raided Town Talk, breaking the windows, pillaging the storefront, and knocking over furniture inside.
White and Stotts placed boards in the broken windows of their restaurant, attempting to fend off further destruction, but vicious rioters invaded the business once again, returning to East Lake Street and burning Town Talk to ashes.
The business owners faulted Frey for the damage, citing that Town Talk was only burned after he made the ruling to leave the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct to the rioters, thus “removing police officers from the neighborhood, and leaving the citizens of Lake Street to defend themselves and their property.”
“At 3:30 a.m. Town Talk was set ablaze. Not a single public official, police officer, firefighter or member of the Minnesota National Guard was around,” the suit explained.
While being slow to action during the chaos in his city, Mayor Frey enacted curfews, which were promptly ignored by rioters, and made statements seemingly sympathizing with the mob such as, “If you’re feeling that sadness and that anger, it’s not only understandable, it’s right,” on May 28.
While fires burned down businesses in his city Mayor Frey also made comments such as: “What we’ve seen over the last two days … is the result of so much built-up anger and sadness.”
Before adding, “Anger and sadness that has been ingrained in our black community, not just because of five minutes of horror, but 400 years.”
City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins addressed the mayhem that was destroying her city by saying that racism is a “public health issue” much like cancer.
“Until we name this virus, this disease that has infected American for the past 400 years, we will never ever resolve this issue,” she said. “If you don’t call cancer what it is, you can never cure that disease.”
Frey is also being blamed for dragging his feet to summon the National Guard until the damage to the city had been done. The federal troops were finally mobilized on May 29, when peace and civility was finally reclaimed, the complaint outlined.
Jim Rowader, the City Attorney, has launched a fervent defense of Frey’s actions, claiming that the city “stands ready to vigorously defend this lawsuit,” according to the Star Tribune.
Rowarder stressed to the newspaper that the mayor “took quick and decisive action … as soon as there was any discernible risk of civil unrest and damage to neighborhoods and businesses.”