By Don Gosney
In the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis, protests popped up all over the U.S. And, as so frequently happens, whatever peaceful protests were planned often become an opportunity for vandalism and looting. Richmond has usually been spared the violence and looting.
Nonetheless, reports of planned protests in parts of Richmond prompted business owners to take preventative measures to minimize the damage. Plywood has been affixed to the fronts of many businesses along 23rd Street, at the Shops at Hilltop and the Target store on Macdonald Avenue.
For a variety of reasons, many of the businesses have so far been spared. Unconfirmed reports of looting at the Target store floated about on Monday evening. Richmond police reported vandalism and looting at the Walmart store. Holistic Healing Collective, a cannabis business at the Vista Del Mar Shopping Center in Hilltop, posted on Facebook that it is closed today for the first time in 10 years after looters took advantage. The business posted images of the destruction within its store.
On Tuesday morning, there was no visible evidence of looting at the Target store. At 7 a.m., Walmart appeared to be business as usual.
Around the other side of the mall, however, the windows in front of the Sears Automotive Department were smashed. Sears, however, has an accordion-style metal security gate inside the doors preventing entry.
Walmart took a novel approach by stacking vast quantities of boxes and goods inside the eastern glass doors making it extremely difficult to gain entry.
Target positioned a train of shopping carts chained together in front of the doors again making it difficult to gain entry.
EDITOR’S NOTE: We sincerely apologize for any pain that has been caused by the wording in this article. That was not our intent. We always aim to accurately convey what is happening. Sometimes we don’t do it perfectly. We have updated the wording in the article. We hope to continue to maintain the trust among our readers in our coverage of the community.