Some neighborhoods affected by riots have needed decades to shed their reputation for violence, said Walter Olson, an expert in constitutional studies and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a public policy research organization in Washington, D.C. Businesses and residents may also face more practical hurdles as they rebuild. Businesses may find it difficult to get insurance. Property values may plummet.

“These reputational things become very hard to overcome even if the reality has changed and even if the danger is in the past,” Olson said.

This is precisely what St. Louis Alderman Antonio French fears. French has stood alongside the protesters since the Aug. 9 shooting and said he’s dismayed that destruction by a few people could overshadow the peaceful efforts of others.