The historic Central Camera store along Route 66 in downtown Chicago burned Saturday night amid unrest over the death a few days ago of an African-American man in Minneapolis police custody. The store’s neon sign, however, appeared to be intact.

A reporter with the CBS-TV affiliate in Chicago reported the store 332 S. Wabash Ave. was looted, then burned.

Here’s the video from the scene:

Central Camera posted photos of the damage on its Facebook page:

It also has set up a page to help rebuild:

Don Flesch, a third-generation owner of the store, told the CBS reporter he was philosophical about the loss.

“It’s what’s going on, it’s reality so you deal with it,” he said. “It’s that simple.”
Flesch said he was most angry about the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis that touched off the unrest there, in Chicago, and elsewhere around the country. […]
Flesch also said this was by no means the end of Central Camera.
“I’m going to rebuild and make it just as good or better, so I’m not depressed at all,” he said.

Flesch said he also rescued the first camera his grandfather sold when the store originally was located at 31 E. Adams St. The business dates to 1899.

Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down on a city street during an arrest Monday near downtown Minneapolis. Derek Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer, kept his knee on the side of Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes — including almost three minutes after Floyd became unresponsive, according to the criminal complaint filed against Chauvin.

Chauvin several days later was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Three other officers were fired. The FBI and Minnesota state police also are investigating.

Floyd’s death touched off protests and some arson and looting at several large cities, including Chicago. Floyd’s death drew condemnation from officers and police chiefs across the country. Minnesota officials also say “anarchists” from outside the area are instigating some of the violence.

(Hat tip to David Clark; an image of the Central Camera sign in Chicago in 2009 by d76 via Flickr)

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