Owner Assaulted by Troopers While Protecting His Business

Minneapolis, MN – Minneapolis business owner Louis Hunter was standing in front of his business Saturday night when State Troopers assaulted him and our team in efforts to enforce a city wide curfew. The 8 p.m. curfew was issued Friday evening following days of protests and riots near Hunter’s business.

While thousands have gathered in Minneapolis to peacefully protest the police killing George Floyd, thousands have battled with the police on the frontlines and others have used this as an opportunity to break into businesses, vandalize small business owners property and set fires throughout the city.

As a result business owners like Hunter find themselves in a tough spot. Do you stand your ground at your business to try and deter arsonists and looters? Or do you stay home and hope nothing bad happens?

Hunter, owner of Trio, the first Black owned plant-based restaurant in Minnesota, decided to stand in at his business Saturday, the night of May 30, protecting and preserving what he has worked tirelessly to create.

People are angry and stuff. So all I am trying to do is protect it so we can stay here to serve the community afterwards,” says Hunter.

Shortly after we began our interview with Hunter, Minnesota State Patrol troopers moving toward his business enforcing the curfew forcefully pushed him and two members of our media displaying press passes into his place of business.

These acts of aggression from police are not new to Hunter.

I got hit with marker rounds three years ago,” says Hunter who was shot by police during a protest that shut down I-94, fighting for justice for his cousin Philando Castile. Hunter was also targeted with serious felony charges for protesting on behalf of his cousin. The charges were later dropped after a pressure support campaign by concerned community members.

During the five days of protesting, Hunter is not the only business owner who has faced this dilemma. The owner of Cadillac Pawn and Jewelry shot and killed Calvin Horton on the sidewalk during the rioting. John Rieple, the owner of Cadillac Pawn was arrested and released with no charges although Minnesota’s Duty to Retreat law does not give right for business owner to kill someone over merchandise. The shooting did not prevent his store from being looted and vandalized further.

Watch our full live stream from the night of this incident:

Unicorn Riot's George Floyd Coverage: