LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - For the past 120 nights, a small business owner has been in full tactical gear, armed with a rifle, saying he is defending himself and his property.
Fadi Faouri owns VIP Smoke Shop and Gifts on Third Street and said on Friday he was surrounded by protesters who were demanding him to say things he didn’t fully agree with, asking him questions like, “Do all black lives matter?” He also said early Friday morning one of his buildings was set on fire.
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“Well whatever happened to me is not fair, and whatever happened to this city is not fair," Faouri said. "As a business owner, not speaking about me only, every business around here is hurt badly, badly.”
Faouri said he planned on moving to the building that is now burned on Monday. Now, he does not know what is next for him. He also said other small businesses in downtown Louisville are suffering because of months of protests, and he blames city leaders.
“Downtown Louisville is a ghost town. Thanks, Mayor Fischer,” Faouri said. “I hope I see you in jail, and thanks city council, and I hope I see most of them in jail.”
Ficher’s office responded to Faouri comments in the following statement sent to WAVE 3 News:
“We certainly understand and are sympathetic to the difficulties that small businesses are having, given the double crises of COVID-19 and downtown protests. We have worked hard to keep business owners apprised of protest activities, so they could take any necessary security precautions. It’s important to note that the protests often occur spontaneously, and the routes they take are very fluid. Even with the assistance of other local, state and federal law enforcement, LMPD resources have been stretched but certainly every effort has been taken to protect life and property throughout the protests.”
Faouri’s building being set to fire has gained national attention, and he’s raised thousands of dollars in donations to help him with his business. To donate to his GoFundMe, click here.