June 5, 2020 By Allie Griffin
Local lawmakers are warning the public about a possible ‘loot-out’ planned for Jackson Heights and surrounding neighborhoods today.
State Sen. Jessica Ramos, Assembly Member Catalina Cruz and Council Member Francisco Moya issued an emergency joint statement last night decrying a ‘loot-out’ planned for 5 p.m.
The loot-out is planned for East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and Corona, in areas where the majority of stores are mom-and-pop shops owned by immigrants, the lawmakers said. They did not say exactly where the looting is planned.
Should the loot out take place, it would come at a time when many of the businesses have already been devastated by the coronavirus shutdown. The lawmakers said many of the local shop owners have also received no economic relief and a looting could be the final straw.
“Our community has been ravaged by COVID and the threat of further destruction is absolutely heartbreaking,” the lawmakers wrote.
“Sixty percent of our neighborhoods’ population are immigrants who drive our local economy and we cannot allow a lack of city resources or counterproductive protesters to take away their only means of survival,” Ramos, Cruz and Moya wrote.
They denounced acts of violence, looting and the destruction of private property.
Groups of looters have taken advantage of unrest in the city in the wake of protests against the police killing of George Floyd.
They have smashed in windows of storefronts along entire blocks and grabbed hand fulls of items from major chain stores in Manhattan’s shopping corridors — such as Macy’s iconic flagship store and a luxury Chanel store in Soho — as well as small businesses in the Bronx.
Earlier in the week, buzz about a loot-out planned at Queens Center Mall on Monday surfaced on social media.
However, no looting actually happened at the mall, according to Council Member Robert Holden, who spoke with the commanding officer of the 110th Precinct.