Owner of Looted Dispensary Backs Protestors, “We can Rebuild our Store, but you Cannot Bring Someone Back to Life”

Written by Rita Thompson

 

George Floyd, an innocent Black man, was murdered on May 25th, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minn. by former police officer, Derek Chauvin. 

This is not an isolated situation. 

In 2019, there were only 27 days that the police did not kill someone, according to Mapping Police Violence. Ninety-nine percent of these killings (from 2013-2017) have gone unpunished. 

Protests are now sweeping the nation in the name of Floyd and every other innocent life lost to racism and police brutality. 

While many have stayed peaceful, those that have not are a clear sign of the anger, pain, and frustration many Americans feel toward the system that continues to push down against minorities while prioritizing white males. 

A Store can be Rebuilt, a Life Cannot 

While some see the burning and looting of cities across the country as destruction and unrest that must end, Berner, a rapper and the owner of Cookies dispensary in Los Angeles reminds protestors not to lose sight of why they are gathering. 

Cookies, a well-known SoCal dispensary, was looted on Saturday, May 30th, during massive protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd.  

After his business was caught in the crossfire, though, the shop’s owner has made it very clear that he values life and justice over his stolen cannabis merchandise.

“It’s extremely unfortunate what happened to our store tonight on Melrose [Ave.]. But as a human living in the world we’re living in today, I cannot expect anything less until justice is served,” Berner said in a video posted to his Instagram followers. 

“We can rebuild our store, but you cannot bring someone back to life,” he said. 

“With that being said, we stand with what is going right now in the world. A statement needed to be made. All I say is, I pray everyone stays safe and protects their family in a time like this,” the rapper said. 

“How can I worry about a store when there is so much more going on in the world right now? So much hate, so much anger, so much pain, and a lack of justice,” he added. “Please take care of your families and stay safe.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I don’t expect everyone to understand what’s going on in the world 🌎 right now …. but I do ….

A post shared by Berner (@berner415) on

Can Insurance Save Them?

Commenters were to remind Berner that his position may be coming from a place of fame and wealth. However, the rapper was quick to clap back with the fact that insurance companies are not going to be running to the support of a cannabis business. 

“We sell weed. I’m not sure that insurance will honor our business, I haven’t even thought about it. I was focused on preserving life and instructing the armed guards to stand down and not to shoot,’ Berner explained in a comment. 

According to MJ Biz Daily, it’s not yet clear whether insurance will cover the losses of likely tens of thousands of dollars. 

Support Those who Care

Dispensaries like Berner’s stand behind the revolution,. But, not all businesses will be able to do so without help. 

Brandy Moore, a Black store owner in Minneapolis, explained this conflict to USA Today. “My business burned down two days ago. […] It’s still going,” Moore, 41, said Sunday, May 31st. “That flame down in people’s soul? It’s still going. They want justice.”

“I’m hurt that I lost this. But … I can’t cry right now,” Moore said. “I can’t go home and cry and be hurt because I lost businesses. George Floyd lost his life. He’ll never be here again.”

Many have set up Go Fund Me’s to help rebuild local, minority-owned businesses that have lost their livelihood to arson and looting. 

To support the Black Live Matter movement and aid the protestors in this revolution: 

Sign petitions, text or call, and donate if you can. More than anything, make your voice heard. 

 

 

Emerald contributor since June 2019

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