A Washington, D.C. business owner who sent tweets in support of defunding the police during the 2020 Black Lives Matter riots stood by his anti-police feelings even in the aftermath of his business was the victim of an attempted robbery as the nation's capital is experiencing a crime wave.
Busboys and Poets, which operates as a restaurant, bar, and bookstore, saw three men armed with rifles and a handgun break-in as the store was closing and were demanding money. Ultimately nothing was taken, according to WUSA9. In July of last year, the Busboys and Poets location was among other businesses that were struck by bullets during a shooting. Despite the incidents, owner and founder Andy Shallal said he stands by the following tweets now "more than ever":
Dear @councilofdc - the mayor sent you the budget. now its ur turn to do the right thing & defund the police @ChmnMendelson @charlesallen @RobertWhite_DC @AnitaBondsDC @cmdgrosso @BrianneKNadeau @CMBrandonTodd @CM_Silverman @marycheh @kenyanmcduffie @VinceGrayWard7 @trayonwhite— Anas (Andy) Shallal (@andyshallal) June 7, 2020
The demonstrations are getting more peaceful according to news. Nothing changed with the protesters, it’s the police that have become less violent. Defunding police and Refunding much needed social services is the way forward. #BlackLivesMattters #protests2020 #DefundPolice— Anas (Andy) Shallal (@andyshallal) June 6, 2020
You cannot reform a broken system. You have to dismantle it and start over. Kudos to Minneapolis City Council for taking the lead to dismantle the police department. Next is abolishing prisons. #DefundPolice #protests #BlackLivesMatter #keepthemomentum— Anas (Andy) Shallal (@andyshallal) June 8, 2020
"I think there's been an uptick in crime, not just in D.C. but throughout the country, and D.C. is no exception, of course," Shallal said in the Monday phone interview with Fox News.
"I think the problem we have here is when the police show up, the incident has already happened. The problem has already occurred," Shallal continued. "So for us to have the police — it's nice to have them to show up, but what are we doing to stop the root causes of what makes people do stuff like this?"
Shallal said that when he calls the police, it is "usually something terrible that's just happened" and said that law enforcement "can't un-terrible something."
"When we talk about defunding the police, just to be clear, it is to divert some of the funds that go to the police to services that make it easier for the police to do their jobs," he explained, though adding he's "not against police." Shallal said he understands police officers have to deal with the "most ridiculous things" like "homelessness," "mental health" and "social dysfunction."