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Business owner cleans up, has message to share with protesters

Alyssum Montessori boarded up

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - The owner of a business damaged in the wake of downtown protests has a message to share, and is doing so on the plywood that is temporarily taking the place of its door and windows.

Sophia Ulmer was back at Alyssum Montessori School, in the 900 Block of Calhoun Street, on Sunday.

With the building secured, it was a day to adorn the boards with messages of support for the protesters at the center of this weekend's demonstrations.

The move echoed the message already posted on the school's Facebook page:

This is our front door. Bashed in out of anger. I was hopeful our sign-purchased at a Montessori for Social Justice conference would keep our school safe last night.

I’m so sad about George Floyd and all black lives that suffer because of a racial system, angry about the continued oppression in our country but trying to stay hopeful that this time, police brutality and unchecked abuse of power will be held accountable.

Numerous businesses -- from restaurants to shops to street-side offices -- were vandalized on Friday or Saturday. Damage mostly involved shattered windows and graffiti.

In other cities, looting and arson have been reported in the eruption of disorder that has come in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an African-American man who died while being arrested in Minneapolis on suspicion of forgery.

Jonathan Shelley

Jonathan Shelley is the news director at WPTA TV, which he joined in 2016 following nine years in a similar role in New Orleans and previous news management positions in Oklahoma City and Las Vegas.

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