‘It’s our city’: Providence residents help clean up following night of violence


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Providence residents took to the streets with dustpans and brooms to help businesses that were impacted after a night of violence in the capital city.

Businesses both big and small were targeted by looters and vandals overnight, causing extensive damage. By daylight Tuesday, Providence residents and business owners awoke to shattered windows and damaged merchandise strewn about the sidewalk.

Related: Small businesses in Providence vandalized after crowds dispersed from mall »

Providence resident River McGhan was one of many who stepped up to help.

“We are here for the killings to stop, and we are also here to clean up our city,” he said.

Resident Elliot Ruggles tells Eyewitness News it’s important that they keep their city clean in order to allow the right message to be heard.

“We are happy to clean up some of the property that’s been destroyed overnight, but the truth is that people aren’t going to get their loved ones back and that’s what’s important,” Ruggles said.

“It’s our city we want to keep it clean. Our kids live here and we don’t want to live in a city that’s broken down,” resident Wilfredo Vargas added.

With her mom’s permission, 6-year-old Ariella Nadeau joined her family in sweeping streets downtown.

“I’m down here because I am helping my community and it is the right thing to do,” she said.

Her mother, Kayla Nadeau, said before joining the cleanup effort, she and her family dropped off food and drinks to officers at the Providence Police Department.

“Right now everybody is against the cops right but not all cops are bad cops,” Kayla said. “My son’s grandfather is a police officer and he really stands for the right things, and I think that if we are peaceful in our protests and we are out to help each other, better things are going to come.”

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza has issued a citywide curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. in response to the violence. It will begin Tuesday night and will last until June 9.

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