New York City’s reopening is days away. After months of lockdown, businesses were prepared for a marathon slog back to normal. Now, after days of rioting, many are crawling just to reach the start line.

Peaceful crowds have gathered in each of the five boroughs for the past five days to protest police killings of black people. Looters followed. They have broken windows and taken goods from small bodegas, icons of America’s commercial capital, and most everything in between.

The death of George Floyd, videotaped as a Minneapolis police officer pinned his neck with a knee, set off protests in scores of U.S. cities and abroad. Police responded aggressively, beating and arresting demonstrators and filling streets with tear gas from California to Washington, D.C.

In New York, after a fresh spasm of violence, the streets were carpeted with shattered glass Tuesday. Stores throughout Midtown and downtown, the once-thriving centers of commerce and pleasure, were sacked. Shop owners and managers wearily prepared to welcome customers who might keep their stores alive and feed their families amid a plague that has killed more than 21,000 New Yorkers and thrown millions into the unemployment lines.

At a bodega on Avenue B, Juan Ignacio Mendez postponed opening from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. to clear debris and remove boards that covered the windows top to bottom. That’s been his daily exercise since Friday -- board up overnight to prepare for protests and remove the fortifications in the morning.

“It’s exhausting,” Mendez said. “Am I angry? Yes, I’m angry.”

Mendez, 53, said the emotional toll of the protests and the pandemic has been more severe than the financial toll. He’s been able to keep the store open since early May, serving a maximum of two customers at a time.

“There’s not much to be looking forward to,” he said. “I was looking forward to June so much.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a Tuesday news conference that he still plans to begin reopening New York City on June 8, unrest or no unrest.

“It’s hard to believe that just a few days ago, all we were talking about was the pandemic,” the mayor said. “The pandemic is still there and we must address that. We need to reopen this city.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo said the mayor had underestimated the threat, and having 8,000 officers on the streets and an 11 p.m. curfew was inadequate. The city of more than 8 million is extending the curfew through Sunday -- and starting it at 8 p.m.

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