LA Extends Cleanup Support For Businesses That Are Looted, Vandalized
More than 120 businesses have been damaged or destroyed by looting and vandalism in the unrest of the past few days, and many of them had just reopened to customers, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said tonight.
Businesses already struggling to survive under closure orders that aimed to reduce the impact of the coronavirus pandemic now have to contend with property damage, Garcetti said in a live-streamed press conference.
He said the city will be extending the following services to assist:
- Building and Safety is conducting safety assessments to anyone who requests one at no cost. "Some damaged buildings may need only to repair glass, and they get a yellow ticket, and that means as soon as it's repaired you're good to go," Garcetti said, adding that no permits will be required for those repairs.
- Businesses with fire damage need a permit for repairs, and Garcetti said submitted plans will be assigned to a plan checker on the same day and given priority processing. Visit buildla.lacity.org.
- The certified construction and demolition hauler requirement will be waived, so businesses don't have to pay to have debris removed
- The Sanitation Department will provide roll-off dumpster services to help clear out debris quickly
- In the coming days, Garcetti said, he'll be proposing to the city council additional financial assistance directly to businesses, so that they can bring employees back and return to business.
The L.A. Police Department arrested nearly 700 people last night, and 70 of those were involved in burglarizing or looting businesses, according to Chief Michel Moore.
Moore and Garcetti both expressed support for the efforts of protesters, who turned out starting last week following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.
But both had strong words for those they said are taking advantage of others' freedom of speech to cause damage.
"We will not stand for violence, for looting, for arson. Not today, not ever, no exceptions," Garcetti said. "Not only because it's wrong, not only because our businesses are barely starting to stand up and those workers that work there need to get a paycheck. But we also know the danger to human lives, and thank God that so far, we've not seen in this city the loss of life. But we've come close already."
Moore said one police officer suffered a fractured skull and is now recovering safely following surgery to insert metal plates, stitches and staples.
Garcetti said most testing centers will remain closed amid the ongoing protests, but Dodger Stadium and the Kedren Community Health Center in South Los Angeles will be open and staffed by workers from the city and fire department.
Dodger Stadium's capacity has been increased to 7,700 tests per day, Moore said.
You can sign up at coronavirus.lacity.org/testing.