Owner of Minneapolis salon torched in riots pleads for Trump to visit, feels abandoned by local officials

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A Minneapolis business owner is feeling “alone” and abandoned by government officials after receiving no help in rebuilding her hair salon that was burned down during rioting.

The owner of Flora’s Hair Designs told “Fox & Friends” on Thursday that she would like to tell President Trump to visit her city and help those like herself who feel local and state officials have dropped the ball and not helped struggling residents get back to business after riots destroyed their livelihoods.


(Source: Fox News)

Flora Westbrooks told Fox News host Steve Doocy that she has yet to receive any help for her business which she owned for more than three decades only to see it burn to the ground in riots that erupted in the city following the death of George Floyd in May.

“Here we are 100 days after your place was torched and how much help have you gotten from your local and state officials?” Doocy asked on Thursday.

“I haven’t gotten anything, not a penny,” Westbrooks replied.

“So to add insult to injury — and we are looking at the images of your place which was destroyed and you have been out of business, and you were already struggling with COVID — the city now has torn down your building,” Doocy said, noting a statement from the city.

“The building was severely damaged in the fire and the front wall was at risk of collapsing onto the sidewalk.  Because of the danger that posed, the City had the wall knocked down to protect the public,” the statement read.

“So they knocked it down to protect the public and Flora, they are sending you the bill, aren’t they?” Doocy asked.

The salon owner noted that the “bill is going to be over $200,000 just for tearing things down and putting up a fence there, so it’s going to be lots of money that I can’t afford that I don’t have.”

Westbrooks told Doocy that police “never showed up” and she “didn’t see any police at all patrol my area” on the night of May 29 when her business was burned down just days before it was scheduled to reopen following months of being closed due to the coronavirus.

She reacted to the president’s visit to Kenosha, Wis., on Tuesday, as he was able to see first-hand the damage caused by rioting in that city. Trump announced $4 million would be going to support local businesses that were hit by the violent protests as well as $42 million in funding to help public safety across the state and $1 million to law enforcement.

“I wish the president would come [to Minneapolis] and bring his checkbook,” Westbrooks said.

“I would tell him that I need help,” she added.

“I have been sitting here since May and I haven’t gotten any help at all,” she continued. “If he could, please Mr. President, could you please just come and do something for our business and my community, please, sir.”

Asked about her future plans, Westbrooks said she would like to rebuild her business and stay in Minneapolis.

“My plan is to rebuild my business,” she told Doocy. “I built that business myself and I just want my business back. That’s all I want, to just get my life back. I want my life back.”

The Trump campaign targeted Democratic nominee Joe Biden for standing with “rioters and looters” in Minneapolis, where new ads went up on Wednesday as the president mounted a strong challenge to win the state which has not gone to a Republican since 1972.

Campaign literature is making its way into residents’ mailboxes and millions in advertising is being spent in an effort to narrow the gap between Trump and Biden in the state where early voting is set to begin on Sept. 18. According to the RealClearPolitics average, Biden leads Trump by 5.3 points in Minnesota.

“There’s been a cultural shift up there,” Annette Meeks, a Republican activist in the state, told The Hill. “Their communities are crumbling and the energy sector workers blame Twin Cities liberals for blocking some of these projects that would restore economic prosperity.”

“The grassroots army is real,” Amy Koch, former majority leader in the state Senate, said. “They’ve been doing it for months and have been super active. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

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Frieda Powers

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