An immigrant store owner who has slept in his Louisville store for more than 122 nights straight to protect it from rioters was verbally accosted outside his shop this week by “protesters” demanding he declare that “black lives matter.”
According to the New York Post, Fadi Faouri, a Jordanian immigrant who came to the U.S. as a teenager, has bunked in his store since violent riots broke out following the March 13 death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed in her apartment after police executed a raid in connection with Taylor and her drug-dealing ex-boyfriend. In their alleged demand for “justice,” Black Lives Matter rioters began looting and torching shops in downtown Louisville, including those around the VIP Smoke Shop that Faouri’s owned for eight years. Many store owners have watched helplessly as their businesses are robbed, damaged or outright destroyed - but Faouri doesn't plan on being one of them.
“Stuff is being damaged on a nightly basis, people are shooting at each other every night,” said Faouri, who’s had the shop for eight years. “Every night we have a new store that got looted. They break in, they take whatever and go. They walk away.”
The violence got so bad, he said, that he tried to move to a new location a bit farther down the street – until that building was burned nearly to the ground just before he was set to move in on Monday.
“I was basically finishing the paint and all kinds of stuff and it got burned to the ground,” he said.
Faouri said that adding insult to injury is the fact that business owners can’t get insurance thanks to the violence, leaving him to pay out of pocket for repairs.
On Friday night, as he often does, Faouri said he picked up his gun and stood outside the door to his shop to protect it from would-be looters, vandals and arsons. He was standing there when a group of about 50 Black Lives Matters supporters showed up and accosted him, demanding that he admit to them that “black lives matter.” Faouri continually refused to comment on the issue, saying simply that he was there to protect his shop from senseless violence and nothing more.
#BLM protesters approach small business owner Fadi Faouri and demand he say "Black Lives Matter" he refused. A building that Faouri was leasing was firebombed last night in #Louisville pic.twitter.com/mhC5sVo8lF— Jorge Ventura Media (@VenturaReport) September 26, 2020
Faouri said this is pretty par for the course at this point, telling the New York Post that black people have repeatedly come into his store – and even showed up outside his private residence – demanding he hire more black employees.
“They’ve been out of hand,” he said. “They try to force me to do stuff that I don’t want to do, and I will not do.”
“If I made it in this country with no language whatsoever when I came in, and $100 in my pocket, nobody has any right to say they can’t make it in this country," he added.