4th Street business owners nervous as grand jury’s Breonna Taylor decision looms

4th Street business owners nervous as grand jury’s Breonna Taylor decision looms

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The city of Louisville is awaiting a grand jury’s decision whether to indict the Louisville Metro police officers involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor.

While the city waits, dozens of businesses downtown have been boarded up and closed, in anticipation of demonstrations after the decision is made public.

On Fourth Street, it is no different as the sound of drills connecting plywood to brick has become commonplace, as one of the city’s most notable street sits in limbo.

That feeling is one Don Davis knows well.

“We’re hoping for an end to everything that’s been going on and we’re hoping that Louisville will become the peaceful place that all of us in Louisville love," Davis said.

Davis and his wife own JJ Wig Shop. During the first weekend of demonstrations in May, the store was looted, costing Davis thousands of dollars in stolen merchandise. Four months later, the store is closed and fortified, as Davis hopes to avoid damage this time around.

“It’s been tough to make it through the first time, so I cannot imagine that a business like ours or anybody else who gets looted twice is going to be able to make it," Davis said.

One block south, though the windows are boarded up, the doors of Safier Mediterranean Deli are still open. Owner Youness Elmesyah and his staff spent Tuesday feeding customers who were still left downtown.

Barricades placed in downtown Louisville

“There’s not many places here to be open," Elmesyah said. "A lot of people don’t have anywhere to eat, so we’re open for them as well.”

Though his restaurant is still open, it doesn’t stop Elmesyah from being nervous about what’s to come. He told WAVE 3 News he slept outside his store in May to prevent it from being looted. This time around, he’s hoping for peace.

>> FULL COVERAGE: Breonna Taylor case

“[I’m feeling] mixed,” he said. "[I’m] worried, scared. I want to know what’s next going to happen. I mean, seeing our beautiful downtown getting destroyed, literally destroyed man, is just heartbreaking, very heartbreaking. We just want it to be a one-time thing, so hope it’s a one-time thing, and things go better.”

Davis told WAVE 3 News he’s hoping for peace too, so he can get back into his wig shop and continue their nearly 50-year-old tradition.

“We’ve been around for 45 years, so we’ve been a big part of that industry here in Louisville," Davis said. "So we hope to get through all of this at a point where we’re still in business where we can get back to where we were, taking care of our customers here in Louisville.”

LMPD has made several changes to downtown Louisville in anticipation of the grand jury’s decision, including restricting access to downtown Louisville.

4th Street Live! is also making changes. A spokesperson told WAVE 3 News Tuesday most businesses in the area are closed, and hours of operation in the days ahead will be determined by the individual businesses.

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Get the WAVE 3 News app on ROKU, Apple TV and Amazon Fire. (Source: WAVE 3 News)