No Grease Barbershop gets spared from riots in uptown Charlotte - | WBTV Charlotte

No Grease Barbershop gets spared from riots in uptown Charlotte

(Dedrick Russell | WBTV) (Dedrick Russell | WBTV)

The owners of No Grease Barbershop are relieved their business remained untouched during a night of violence. Several businesses were damaged near the barbershop as rioters took to the streets of uptown Charlotte Wednesday night. 

They were responding to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer shooting and killing of Keith Lamont Scott. Rioters shattered windows and stole items from stores, but no damage was done to No Grease. 

Several businesses are using plywood to cover windows.

"The people that were part of the protest - whether they were there for good or not so good - they knew us and made sure we were protected from any type of damage," No Grease co-owner Damian Johnson said.

Johnson said two workers stayed behind to keep an eye on the shop. They told Johnson when the agitators arrived in front of the shop, they exchanged some words.

"They said, 'we know them, they're good,'" Johnson said.

The owner believes the rioters didn't touch No Grease because of the work he has done in the community. Johnson graduated from Johnson C. Smith University, set up a business in Charlotte and has sponsored programs to help empower the community.

"If they hadn't identified with us, or had some type of relationship or knew who we were, we would be bordered up also," Johnson said.

Other No Grease barbers were hoping the shop would be spared.

"It was a very powerful image for me," No Grease Barber Mario Askew said. "I was actually prepared to be in a No Grease T-shirt and my Timberland boots. I was prepared to be cleaning up glass and cleaning up after the aftermath, but to not have any damage - is amazing to me."

Johnson said he hopes this disturbance will cause change for the community. He thinks the agitators and protesters are crying out for help.

"Let's hear the people out," Johnson said. "Let's make a strategic effort to make sure that everyone has opportunity to not only express themselves, but to grow in this great country of ours."

Johnson is unhappy the neighboring businesses suffered losses. He said that is not the way to be heard.

Johnson believes calm would be restored if the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department would release to the community the video captured from officers' body cam that shows the fatal shooting of Scott.

"Our tax dollars - we pay for those body cameras. Why don't we have access to look at them to see what's on the video?" Johnson said. "Like they cannot intelligently look at a video and see right from wrong?"

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