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La Mesa community shows signs of hope; Prep for another possibly dangerous weekend

Posted at 5:56 PM, Jun 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-05 21:17:31-04

LA MESA, Calif. (KGTV) — The La Mesa community has continued to show its strength and resilience. But as we head into the weekend, the city's 7 p.m. curfew continues and some fear there could be more violent riots.

Colorful murals now cover La Mesa businesses, destroyed by rioters and looters last weekend. For Kenny Siler, Friday is a big win.

"It means the world to be able to come in here," Siler said.

He drove his legally blind friends to the Vons grocery store on the first day it reopened.

"If there's a good sale, [I get] a whole bunch of Gatorade, and if there's a good chunk of meat I can smoke," he laughed.

He's one of the hundreds of La Mesans supporting local businesses as soon as they can. Some shop, some clean, some donate.

Next to Vons, California Coast Credit Union still has not reopened.

"Both ATM's and inside, everything has been just butchered," the credit union's Sr. VP of Communications, Rene McKee said.

They were victims of the riots, but they are also stepping up to help. Friday, the credit union donated $5,000 to the La Mesa Business Disaster Recovery Fund. The online Gofundme account continues to grow every hour, far past the original goal of $50,000.

"It's helping to bolster the spirits of the residents here in La Mesa and these small businesses," McKee said.

While glimmers of hope begin to flicker, La Mesans still face the reality that what happened last weekend, could happen again. One hundred national guard troops continue to provide added security and prevent property damage, with 100 more on standby in case the situation worsens.

For Siler, who is a proud military veteran, he hopes this weekend will bring peace and order.

"I support my constitution," Siler said. "Protest. But don't do what you've done," he pointed at the boarded-up walls.

The money donated to the La Mesa Business Disaster Recovery Fund will be collected on June 25, 2020. Any La Mesa businesses affected by the riots can contact the East County Chamber of Commerce to apply for support funds.