Rioting adds more innocent victims to tragic shootings

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August 15

Regarding the Aug. 12 front-page article “FBI will investigate shooting in Mo.”:

The fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a police officer and the subsequent rioting in Ferguson, Mo., brought back memories of the D.C. riots in 1968 after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. As in Ferguson, stores were looted and burned. My drug store, Smith Pharmacy at 2518 14th St. NW, and my brother’s building at 7th and S streets NW were burned down. My other brother’s five-and-ten store at Georgia Avenue and Lamont streets NW was looted and all his merchandise stolen.

According to the most informative book on the riots, “Ten Blocks From the White House” by Ben W. Gilbert and the staff of The Post, 1,000 fires in the District caused more destruction than those in any other large U.S. city. The cost of the damage exceeded $27 million (a lot of money in 1968).

Although 46 years have elapsed since the 1968 riots, I still cannot understand why so many businesses and buildings were destroyed when the owners had nothing to do with King’s murder. Likewise, the Ferguson merchants who have become riot victims were not involved in the shooting of Michael Brown.

 Larry Rosen, Rockville

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