As guilty verdict comes down in Chauvin verdict, so does plywood

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Now that Derek Chauvin’s trial is over, Operation Safety Net will scale back until summer. And some businesses are following suit, taking down some of the plywood they used to board up their windows in anticipation of unrest.

"Today I just come to pick it up the other covers in the window of the restaurants,” said Pablo Pomaquiza.

Some businesses are optimistic they’ll welcome customers back again after the tense murder trial for Chauvin ended in a conviction.

Pomaquiza is removing boards from a downtown Minneapolis restaurant. He’s glad the crowds downtown remained peaceful and is hauling the boards back to storage.

“I hope the people are happy, too. A lot of people want to be downtown, can be free to walk and enjoy the business, enjoy the restaurants,” he said.

Most businesses don’t plan on getting rid of the plywood. Some are worried they’ll have to bring them back, and the cost is too high to buy more.

In March 2020, a sheet of plywood cost $37.98. A year later, this April, some are listed at more than $95 a sheet, according to data from the Poynter Institute.

Even so, the hope is that these will stay in storage for good.

“I pray it’ll come back to normal. I live here for a long time and I want to feel free to walk with my family to come to downtown and anywhere,” said Pomaquiza.