Lake St. business hopes city leaders have a plan for Chauvin trial security

As Minneapolis city leaders put together a security plan for the Derek Chauvin trial next month, a Lake Street business owner wants to make sure businesses like his aren't forgotten. 

"I love Lake Street. Lake Street is an interesting place. You can walk down here and talk to someone who makes your day," said Joe Williams, owner of Michael’s Apparel.  

Williams’ dad moved the business to Lake Street more than 30 years ago. Williams said he wants to keep it that way.  

"I actually watched [people] on camera as they were snatching stuff off the walls and tearing up my cash register. It was like watching a movie," he added.    

His business was one of many along Lake Street damaged after riots following George Floyd’s death.   

It took about a month for him to get going again.  

"I was very angry at the time. I wanted to come rushing over here but then I thought what could I do?" said Williams.  

Now, he’s concerned as the Derek Chauvin trial approaches.   

"I think the city is feeling a sense of responsibility to want to help businesses and community members prepare for what’s coming and that’s not to say we anticipate anything, or unrest is to come," said Sasha Cotton, director for The Minneapolis Office of Violence and Prevention.  

Cotton said the Office of Violence Prevention is partnering with community advocates and neighborhood associations to stop people from damaging local businesses when the trial begins 

"We acknowledge that there’s pain and we stand here ready to partner and trying to come up with solutions that are going to help make a difference" said Cotton.