Pittsburgh leaders, businesses preparing for potential unrest after election

Pittsburgh leaders, businesses preparing for potential unrest after election

PITTSBURGH — In late May and into early June, protests over the death of George Floyd escalated across the country, including in Pittsburgh.

Police said several downtown businesses were looted and damaged in the aftermath, including Kashi Jewelers. The owner of that store, David Kashi, said protesters smashed the front window, broke in and stole $200,000 worth of jewelry.

If you want to receive local news alerts, please download our WPXI News App. You can also follow WPXI on Facebook and Twitter.

Content Continues Below

Kashi is worried it could happen a second time if there is unrest after Election Day. And he’s not the only one.

“I’m worried about riots next week and I’ll be prepared,” he said.

The cleanup took weeks, costing thousands of dollars. And he’s now considering boarding up his store, something Channel 11 saw other businesses downtown already doing proactively.

Pittsburgh mayor Bill Peduto said he is meeting with public safety and other officials to ensure nothing gets out of hand.

“Public safety has been working across all of our boroughs' police, fire and EMS to ensure that we have enough personnel in case of any type of necessity,” he said.

Police officers will be working 12-hour shifts beginning Election Day. Right now, city officials are preparing for the worst but hoping for the best.

“The peaceful transition of power is something that is a part of American culture in history, and no matter who wins the election next week -- and we probably won’t know for a few days after -- I would hope all Americans would keep that tradition," Peduto said.

National Guard in several states preparing for potential unrest after election