On the night of November 24, 2014, St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch’s announcement of the grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of black teen Michael Brown, was followed — predictably — by rioting, looting, and burning in Ferguson and environs.
Like the four stores above (Advance Auto Parts, Fashion R, TitleMax Title Loans, Little Caesars), most of the businesses that were looted, vandalized, or burned to the ground were in a two-square-mile block on or near Florissant Avenue — Ground Zero of the Nov. 24 riot.
Three days after the riots, The Buffalo News reported that “Officials of the Missouri Department of Insurance (MDI) met with business owners at the Ferguson Public Library Wednesday to help merchants file claims.” MDI spokesman Chris Cline said: “We’ve been working off a list of businesses that we believed to have been affected and reaching out to them.”
The only thing wrong with this picture is this:
Two years before Officer Wilson shot Michael Brown, setting off a series of protests and riots that culminated in the Devil’s Night of looting and arson on Nov. 24, 2014, there was already a plan — the Saint Louis Great Streets Initiative — to redevelop and revitalize the West Florrisant Avenue corridor.
Here’s a description of the initiative from the City of Dellwood’s website:
St. Louis county Great Streets Initiative – West Florissant Road