Amid the protests over George Floyd's death, 81-year-old immigrant Ned Harounian lost his store in Los Angeles

June 02, 2020 11:18 AM
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Halle Berry is advocating for a store owner who lost his business amid the protests over police brutality.

81-year-old Ned Harounian lost his store in the protests that erupted across Los Angeles last week. Berry encouraged her followers on Twitter to donate to Harounian's GoFundMe, which features updates from his son. The page has raised over $19,000 so far.

"An immigrant business owner in his 80s had his Melrose store looted then burned, and his recently deceased wife’s jewelry stolen. Things are crazy right now, but I hope we can all take a minute to help this man out!! Donate if you can," Berry's tweet read.

Halle Berry
Halle Berry/Twitter; Inset: Steve Granitz/WireImage

"81 year old immigrant father, Ned Harounian, still grieving the recent loss of his wife, who died after a battle with pancreatic cancer, lost his livelihood when his Melrose shop was violently robbed and burned to the ground," his son Ebbi Haroonian posted on the site. "He immigrated to the the US, with his family, in 1985. For over 30 years he poured everything he had into his business and community. After the recent death of his wife, the store was not only his source of income, but also his safe haven. The L.A. Melrose community is family to him and he to them. He has been violated, ripped of his life’s work, support and community, devastating."

Harounian's son did an interview with CNN recounting the damage, where he also said his late mother's possessions were lost in the fire.

"My mom passed away about three years ago. All my mom’s jewelry and her old clothes that my dad had a connection to, it was in the store. Everything is gone. Everything is stolen," he said.

"It’s horrible, I don’t know what to do with my dad. My dad is in a horrible situation right now," he added.

The death of Minneapolis man George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, ignited protests across the country after an officer was seen in a video kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes despite Floyd’s cries for help.

Former office Derek Chauvin, who was seen in the video kneeling on Floyd's neck, has been fired and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter after Floyd's death. Three other officers with him have also been fired, though they have not faced related charges.

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

•Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.

ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.

•National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.