Merchants Return To Find Besmirched Boutiques

Brett Martel, AP, Nov. 7

When she noticed the human waste on the floor of the trendy women’s shoe boutique she manages, Lindsay Foret suspected looters had soiled the store out of spite.

“I was like, ‘This is horrible. There’s brand new bathrooms and they couldn’t even go there?’“ Foret said. “I went back to the bathrooms and they were perfectly fine.”

As she spoke to fellow merchants along trendy Magazine Street, on the edge of the Garden District, Foret quickly learned she wasn’t the only one who found such unseemly messes while trying to reopen a looted store.

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“It is asserting a kind of power,” Tulane sociology professor Martha K. Huggins said. “People who have their house broken into often say they feel violated, and defecating on the floor is the ultimate way to violate somebody.

“People who’ve been marginalized and excluded from the economic system and social system and don’t feel they have any stake, it’s not surprising that some are going to behave in a way that shows they have absolutely no respect for and no stake in the system,” she added.

Human feces was found in a number of stores around town, from the independently owned shops uptown to the chain stores at the upscale Canal Place shopping mall downtown.

“I was like, ‘These animals,’” said Jack Sutton, who owns a fine jewelry store that was looted inside the Canal Place mall.

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