Volunteers Clean Up Streets, Donate to Bail Funds to Amid George Floyd Protests

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As protests against racism and police brutality continue across the country sparked by the killing of George Floyd, volunteers from all walks of life are helping clean up neighborhoods damaged by looting and vandalism. Others are donating to bail funds to help protesters who have been arrested while making their voices heard. 

In Los Angeles, protester Courtney Nichole Gardner, who is black, confronted two vandals who appeared to be white as they spray painted graffiti over a Starbucks store. 

"If you are tagging on behalf of Black Lives Matter, ask someone black! Don't do that! That's not what we want, we're not going to get anything done by doing that," Gardner told the two women. 

Gardner told CBS News she felt she had to speak up. 

"How dare you add another target to our backs? We are out here because we are targets right now," Gardner said of the vandals' actions. "At that point, I felt that the media had been pushing one narrative that black people were out here messing up our own neighborhoods yet again." 

Across the country, volunteers have come out with blooms, plywood, drills and sponges to clean up their communities. While the overwhelming majority of protesters have demonstrated peacefully, vandals and looters have used the protests as a screen to cause property damage. 

In downtown Los Angeles, crews of volunteers scrubbed graffiti off of buildings, and a member of the National Guard joined in as well. 

In the Bronx in New York City, volunteers swept up glass and expressed empathy for the protesters.

"These people came out and they looted and they rioted, that's unfortunate and we're here to clean it up," volunteer Akilah Galloway told CBS News. "But they are doing this in protest of something horrible that happened."

Across the country, people have also donated to bail funds that help protesters pay the cost of getting out of jail. Chloe Cooper helped start a bail fund over a year ago in Kansas City, Missouri. The Kansas City Community Bail Fund has helped bail 10 protesters out of jail so far, she told CBS affiliate KCTV

"They can’t afford it, so one arrest could lead to a domino effect of everything falling apart and that could set them back even further," Cooper told the station. 

The Community Justice Exchange maintains a database of bail funds across the country so supporters can donate. 


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