TUCSON, Ariz. — TUCSON, Ariz. -- Countless protests continue across the nation, following the police killing of George Floyd.
Velveia Evans, the owner of ATL Wings in Tucson, is now sending a message to both protesters and looters.
For Evans, this protest is about seeking justice; justice, she says, that has been a long time coming.
“My father went through this. My brothers went through this. Now my children are going through this,” said Evans.
She tells KGUN9 she has lived in fear, all her life, because of the color of her skin.
“Everyday I wake up, my skin is black, and many of you have no idea what it’s like to wonder when your child goes to the store, if you’ll ever see them again,” she added.
She says this was the case with George Floyd.
“America’s innocence was taken when we say a man lost his life right in front of our face,” said Evans.
She says it was only a matter of time before people took to the streets to seek justice, including here in Tucson.
“Anytime you own a business and there is uproar, violence in the area, you worry about your business. Fortunately and by the grace of God, we have not been vandalized,” she said.
She and her husband Ralph Bankhead attribute this to their customers.
“There’s no specific race creed or color. If we had to depend on one race or creed, we would be out of business. But this is truly an example of what we can be,” she told KGUN9.
So they have decided not to board up and are still open for take-out. Though they realize the protests will go on -- and so will looters and vandals.
Here is Evans' message to looters.
“You might have your day today, but tomorrow belongs to the righteous,” she said.
As for protesters, she encourages them to go out peacefully and be heard.
“Stand up. Be proud. Make us proud. We want you to march. We want you to protest. Because what you protest has been protested ever since I can remember. Eventually someone will hear us. So don’t stop. MAybe this is the time that America will stand up and say, we are united,” she said.
At the end of the day, Evans just hopes looters don’t overshadow the light protesters are trying to shed on police brutality towards African Americans.