LOS ANGELES – Sitting and watching. That's what Chip Brown, owner of Big Man Bakes, has been doing to protect his business the past few nights as protests in DTLA have boiled over into looting. He supports the peaceful marches, knowing first-hand what prejudice feels like.

“As a 6 foot 5 African American, I lived and understand the cumulative pain of seeing all these deaths and murders essentially,” said Brown.

What You Need To Know

  • African American business owner in DTLA had his shop vandalized during protests

  • He says people vandalizing, looting not true protesters, but "joyriding kids"

  • As a 6'5 African American man, he says he understands and has experienced racial injustice

  • He supports peaceful protests and hopes vandals don't mar true message

As a black man, who owns his own successful bakery, even being featured on TV, he says these protests help white America see what a day in the life of a minority is in this country.

“Whether it be the clutching of a purse on an elevator or assuming that if you're 6’5 you’re an athlete, opposed to a businessman, those things, are little murders of the soul. A microcosm of what is happening in the nation,” said Brown.

As Brown shows footage of what he says are some peaceful protesters seeming to be detained, he says he is proud to see all communities come together to spread the message that black lives matter.

“They weren’t destroying anything. They were conscientiously fighting for what they believe in, which is the injustice of black people,” said Brown.

He says the ones destroying businesses were young outliers, no older than 21 from what he saw, who were not involved in peaceful gatherings.

“They don’t know who George Floyd is,” he said.

After Friday night’s events, he found graffiti on his store window and his fellow neighborhood businesses were looted and destroyed, so he decided to sit in front of his store from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. over the weekend to protect it.

“These were children destroying the city. Children that were burning and looting and carrying four boxes of Nikes running by me in front of the store. They weren’t protesters. They didn’t have signs. They were joyriding kids,” said Brown.

He hopes this vandalism will stop so the messages from the actual protesters can be heard among all this noise.

“It’s not just about black people fighting for the cause, it’s about humanity coming together. It’s about everyone seeing the horrific injustice that is going on, so I hope that at this point with all this destruction, [we] rebuild together so that we heal and be a better nation,” said Brown.

As he hopes for a better nation, in the meantime, he continues to stand vigil protecting his business from those outliers.