A Life Savings Burned To The Ground

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More than 170 businesses have been looted or completely destroyed during the riots in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Area. While videos surfaced of large nationwide chains being set on fire and ravaged, smaller businesses were also destroyed too. The Scores Sports Bar in Minneapolis was one African American man’s dream enterprise. It was never given the chance to flourish after this week. 

Korboi Balla, a former Minneapolis firefighter at the Brooklyn Park Fire Department, was getting excited to finally open up his dream business June 1st as the stay-at-home orders were expiring. He had planned to open the bar in March, but those plans were put on hold due to the coronavirus crisis. When restaurants were given the go to reopen in June that all came to a halt when the riots started. The protests for George Floyd evolved to full-scale riots. Looters attacked the city. They trashed and attacked the sports bar he had invested his entire life savings into.   

“I don’t know what we’re gonna do. It hurts, man. It’s not fair. It’s not right. We’ve been working so hard for this place. It’s not just for me, it’s for my family.” Balla told CBS as he fought back tears. While filming the interview, looters broke into the back door of the bar trying to steal the safe. 

“As we were standing in front of the restaurant, people were in the back trying to steal the safe. This just happened an hour ago in broad daylight.” Balla’s wife Twyana wrote in a Facebook post. She said the couple, who have four children, do not have business insurance, adding “this is all out of pocket.” She talks about how people can’t even walk their children in the neighborhoods because everything is burning or destroyed. 

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Twyana also shared a video of the building smoldering. The whole front of the building was gone, indicating there was a possible explosion. The entire restaurant had been reduced to a pile of bricks by Friday morning. A GoFundMe has been set up to rebuild Korboi’s Sports Bar, raising well over $280,000 of its $100,000 goal.

“You wouldn’t understand unless you was in this position! Justice for George Floyd but not this kind of justice.” Twyana Balla wrote. 

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