St. Louis business owners split on police, protests - KMOV.com

St. Louis business owners split on police, protests

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Protesters silently marched down Market Street  Monday (Credit: KMOV) Protesters silently marched down Market Street Monday (Credit: KMOV)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

There is a group of St. Louis business owners that say they are standing in solidarity with those protesting the Stockley verdict, and they have signed a petition to prove it. 

A few dozen businesses have signed the petition, but there are also businesses openly supporting police. 

The woman who started the petition says it is not anti-police, it is pro-reform. It is not just businesses who were impacted by the protests who are signing it. It is community-wide. A few dozen business owners have signed the petition

"We see because we are a business in a predominantly black neighborhood, we see the results of institutionalized racism and bad policy on a day to day issue. This is an issue that affects all of us," says Sarah Trone, who co-owns Flowers and Weeds. 

Walking up to Flowers and Weeds on Cherokee Street, the marquee speaks for itself. 

"If I say to you black lives matter, how can you argue with that can anyone argue that?" says Trone

She also has marched in the protests. She says the reason for signing the petition in support of her and others like her is simple, she wants police officers held accountable. 

"We stand against police violence. Police violence is a result of a lot of complicated issues," she says. 

Just as her business openly supports protesters and activists, there are also those that openly support officers as well. 

"I will support the police because they have been supportive of me too," says Charlie Gitto. 

Charlie Gitto's is known as one of the hot spots for officers. 

"I always thought that having the police around sometime was really good for downtown, if somebody comes in and sees a policeman in uniform sitting down having dinner, it was like having a guard here," he says. 

Trone says support for one group does not mean they're against another. 

"Police lives do matter. I don't think it's an issue of cops or people. I think the police are acting in result to bad policy," says Trone. 

The St. Louis Police Officer’s Association is also collecting a list of businesses that support police efforts.

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