Rodney Beckwith, who goes by his artist name Flewnt, spent the night inside Resist 323, the store he manages on Melrose Avenue.
A garage door security gate was pulled down in front to protect the shop, which sells custom clothing and art. But one of the windows at the top of the store was still smashed.
Flewnt was inside when he heard people trying to break in through the back door Saturday night. He shoved a table saw against the security door to block their access.
“All I could do was try to get to the rooftop,” he said. “My survival mode: Get high and get out the door. I’m not going to sit down there. They’re breaking through a door, they’re not knocking.
“I know they’re Black Lives Matter. I’m black, but … they’re doing something crazy,” Flewnt said. “I can’t say I’m black, everything is good, I’m on their side. I feel them, I’m with them, but at the same time, I’m protecting a business.”
No one managed to breach the security door and get inside, but Flewnt kept a nail gun and an ax with him. He climbed atop a ladder and kept watch.
“It’s a black dude store. Leave it alone,” protesters said when they spotted him perched above.
“I couldn’t get any sleep until daybreak,” Flewnt said. “It was a wild night. Hopefully tonight will be a little calmer.”
A few storefronts down, Happy Ice was papered with fliers showing a photo of the owner below the words “Black Owned.”
Melrose Avenue along with Fairfax Avenue — two of…