An East County coffeeshop put out a call out for help cleaning up downtown La Mesa on Sunday after overnight protests turned violent overnight, and community members turned out in force
Public Square Coffee, which is in the heart of the city in the 8200 block of La Mesa Boulevard, just blocks from a Vons supermarket that was looted by rioters, asked volunteers to bring gloves and trash bags on Sunday morning to "help pick up trash and clean up our downtown La Mesa Village."
Hundreds of La Mesa residents arriving with brooms and paint, owner Aaron Henderson said later in the morning.
"They cleaned up in about an hour,'' Henderson said. "It was overwhelming to see this community come together.''
All the graffiti was cleaned up and store windows were boarded up, Henderson said.
Hundreds, if not thousands of peaceful protesters marched around the normally quite suburb of San Diego on Saturday, at one point blocking traffic on Interstate 8, before events turned violent after dark. The protest took place after the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the controversial arrest of a black man by a white officer near a trolley stop in La Mesa.
Sadly, the volunteers will have their work cut out for them. The area was strewn with broken glass, water bottles, trash and other debris. While much of the rioters anger was directed at the nearby police station, many of the village's business sustained damage as well.