Business owners breathe sigh of relief after Chauvin guilty verdict

Cheers reverberated throughout Philadelphia immediately after a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of all charges.

Video Transcript

- Businesses began protecting their properties days before today's verdict.

- And tonight, they're all breathing a sigh of relief that the guilty verdict meant peace in the streets. Action News reporter Jaclyn Lee joining us live from 17th and Walnut in Center City tonight with more on that. Jacqueline.

- Well, Rick and Christi, if you take a walk down this street, you'll see that most of the businesses are not boarded up. And the reason why? Business managers say, if they did that, that actually would have cost them thousands of dollars because customers would have assumed that they were closed or they wouldn't be able to window shop. But they say that they did predict that things would be peaceful tonight. And they were hoping for that.

Cheers reverberated throughout Center City immediately after a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of second degree murder and manslaughter.

- To see him get charged like that, greatly relieved. He's getting served his justice.

- I think this is what needs to happen in order for there to be police reform.

- The city sat on edge for weeks, fearing a repeat of the chaotic scenes seared into memory from last summer. Thousands of dollars lost from the mayhem. And the city's reputation tarnished.

- We had a lot of damage. They actually also tried to break down into our restaurant. They broke the front window door.

- Damara Tellez runs Pietro's Pizza on 17th and Walnut. She says, last summer, rioters threw Molotov cocktails into the two buildings next door and burned them down. She's breathing a sigh of relief tonight.

Were you going to board up? Like, what was your plan?

- We were just trying to see what was going to be the verdict. We were trying to see if people were coming down to the city.

- And as people celebrate the jury's decision, Rittenhouse looks like a business as usual for a Tuesday evening.

- We only destroyed it because we didn't get what we want. But now that we got what we want, everybody's going to stay in the house.

- And many businesses around here agreed that they would play it by ear depending on how the verdict would go. But as you can see, even though it's calm now, there are still a lot of remnants of what happened last summer. We're live here in Rittenhouse. Jaclyn Lee for Action News at 10:00 on PHL 17. Back to you.

- All right, Jaclyn. Thank you.