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Indian American-owned Car Dealership Damaged During Riots in Kenosha Seeks Federal Help

Indian American-owned Car Dealership Damaged During Riots in Kenosha Seeks Federal Help

  • Anmol Khindri, who owns Car Source along with his father, says the visits by President Trump and Vice President Biden helped.

The Khindri family in Kenosha, Wisconsin, is reeling from the damage at their car dealership following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Anmol Khindri, who owns Car Source along with his father, told American Kahani that he is “heartbroken” with all the destruction. Khindri said the rioters, who were from out of town, set fire to the parking lot for two consecutive nights. Photos of the Aug. 30 and 31 incident show the car lot littered with charred scraps and shattered glass, and most of the cars smashed beyond repair. Only a handful of vehicles in the lot remained unscathed. 

According to the Car Source website, there were around 140 cars available prior to the Aug. 30 destruction. “The rioters found our dealership and they burnt it to the ground,” Khindri said. “Everybody watched it burn to ashes,” he said. “Nobody did nothing about it – nothing.” 

Josie Rodriguez, who lives in the house adjacent to Car Source, notified the police of the rioters. “It was a terrifying time,” Rodriguez told Kenosha News. “I thought, ‘Oh my god, they’re coming here.”

Khindri has been living in Kenosha for the past 12 years. His family started Car Source in 2013. “This business, it’s not just a business,” a distraught Khindri said. “We started off with seven cars. We built it car by car.”

Khindri has no idea when the business can resume. “We have lost so much money” in the two nights that there is “no capital to get back to work,” he said. He doesn’t have a lot of hope from the insurance company, which defines riots as “domestic terrorism” and doesn’t cover it. “Right now things aren’t looking good.” 

Along with his family of four — his parents and his brother —  Khindri has to think of the 20 other families who have worked for this business over the last nine years. And there’s no Plan B. “I never thought I needed a Plan B,” he said. “Everything was so perfect.” 

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However, he is relieved that things have calmed and the riots and looting has stopped. He feels President Trump and Joe Biden’s respective visits to the city have helped. He is hoping for some relief  from President Trump’s federal relief package that includes $4 million for Kenosha businesses as well as the assistance from Governor Tony Evers package of $1 million no-interest loans for damaged Kenosha businesses. 

To help tide over some of the losses, Car Source has organized an online fundraiser on GoFundMe. “We, at Car Source, are a victim of Riots, here, in Kenosha, WI and lost 137 cars and our facility this week,” the GoFundMe page says. “Car Source, a family business burnt down to ashes in a matter of hours due to riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Our insurance company is finding their way out so they don’t have to pay for all this arson that took place Monday early morning and 2nd time early Tuesday morning. Please help share this GofundMe page ‘Car Source in Kenosha’ and help us try to get back onto our feet.”

Bhargavi immigrated to the U.S. in 1997 and has worked with Indian American media since then in various capacities. She has a degree in English literature and French. Through an opportunity from Alliance Française de New York, Bhargavi taught French at Baruch college for over a year. After taking a break and two kids later, she went back to work in the Desi media. An adventure sport enthusiast, in her free time, she likes to cook, bake or go for hikes, biking and long walks.

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The viewpoints expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, viewpoints and editorial policies of American Kahani.
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