LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Men and women with devotion to the West Louisville community showed up Tuesday morning to help clean up their local grocery store. As the day went on, more residents arrived to clean, pray and cry over their community.
The Kroger at 2710 W. Broadway is one of the only grocery stores in the West Louisville Food Desert. Desmond Smith showed up at 3 a.m. to help clean the parking lot. Smith said when buildings and businesses are destroyed on the east side of Louisville they are fixed, but that doesn’t happen on the West Louisville.
"Back in '68 when they did the riot on 28th Street nothing ever rebuilt," Smith said.
The Kroger was looted around 1 a.m. Tuesday. Smith said he couldn't stand what he was watching.
"If y'all want to stand here and protest and do all that let's stand together in our own neighborhood and stand up," Smith said. "Don't video tape people breaking in our store when you can stop that."
Along with Smith, Milissa Greene-Jones came out to clean up the neighborhood that raised them.
"At the moment I was very angry," Greene-Jones said. "My thought is how are people going to get their meds their food. There's elderly there's children in this community."
"If you're going to be out there with the peaceful protest stay out there doing that when its time to dismantle and leave," Smith said.
Both West Louisville residents said they want people to push forward and fight for equality and justice. However, they want their children to have a community to come back to at the end of the day.
"You're tearing all that we got right now," Smith said. "It's not even a lot that we got. I got kids I don't want them to grow up having nothing. If this keeps going on when my kid keeps getting older there's going to be nothing. It's sad man, it's pretty sad."
"Tearing up the black community is not helping," Greene-Jones said. "We are not going to be heard if we continue to damage our own community. This is what they want us to do they want us to tear down our own community so then we don't have anything."
Smith and Greene-Jones said at they're fighting for Louisville but at the end of the day there's a separate fight for West Louisville.
Kroger released a statement saying they plan to reopen the West Broadway store on Wednesday with limited hours.