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Tampa curfew continues as business owners hope for peace and calm

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – As protesters got out of hand Sunday, Chester Stone shot video of the unrest from the front door of Hope’s Food Store.

At least two people ransacked the place where he works, he said, as those demonstrators worked their way down Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard in Tampa.

“People are taking advantage of what happened to that incident with that police officer, which is wrong,” Stone told 8 On Your Side. “But now everybody taking advantage. You have thieves that taking advantage. People breaking into Walmart. One will break into different things. Using that to rob and steal which is wrong,” he said.

RELATED: Tampa curfew in effect for another day following weekend protests, mayor says

Looters swiped cigarettes from Hope’s and broke windows, workers said.

The owner left a message of thanks on the front door. It is directed at customers and kids in the neighborhood.

On Monday morning, Tampa city leaders announced the continuation of a curfew for at least one more night. The night before, with a curfew in effect, officers arrested 21 people for a host of crimes like burglary and disorderly conduct. The police chief said three vehicles were damaged.

Video, given to 8 On Your Side from Stone, shows police marching down MLK Boulevard by Hope’s.

Police Chief Brian Dugan had a powerful message Monday, hoping for peace and calm.

“People feel like black lives don’t matter. And I want you to know as your chief of police, I acknowledge that feeling and black lives matter. All life has value,” he said from police headquarters.

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