Costs from weeks of protests take financial toll on cash-strapped cities across US

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Protests following George Floyd’s death could become one of the costliest displays of civil disorder in US history

From police injuries to financial losses from looters, the aftermath from weeks of cross-country protests is bringing some cities to their knees.

All told, the unruly demonstrations following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery could make it one of the costliest displays of civil disorder in U.S. history. In many places, the financial fallout comes as cities and states have drained their coffers trying to fight COVID-19. The end result for these cash-strapped cities could put them millions of dollars in the red and struggling for years to get out.

In Minneapolis, costs related to the protests could hit higher than $500 million. In Portland, Ore., nearly 80 nights of destruction have caused the liberal locale $23 million and counting. In Chicago, a city that’s seen soaring crime rates and corruption at the highest levels, the damage done from the protests has not only hit high-end retailers but crippled hundreds of mom-and-pop stores trying to eke out a living.

Although the total financial fallout from the protests is still unknown, it will likely eclipse the Los Angeles riots in 1992, which until this years was the most expensive, costing the city $1.4 billion (adjusted for inflation), according to PCS, the insurance industry’s primary source for reporting insured losses. Two days of riots following Freddie Gray’s funeral in 2015 caused Baltimore $26 million in losses.

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