At 11 a.m. today, Christiana Mall reopened to shoppers after abruptly canceling a Monday opening under Phase 1 of the state’s coronavirus response.
It came after a turbulent weekend that included a peaceful Saturday protest in the city of Wilmington over the death of George Floyd whose life was drained away when a Minneapolis a police officer kneeled on his neck. The Saturday protest in Wilmington was followed by looting in the Market Street area of Wilmington.
The weekend proved to be a tense period as Christiana’s opening was postponed and a heads up was given to big boxes, pharmacies and other retailers in other areas of New Castle County to close their doors early.
One report of possible looting and vandalism in the Pike Creek-Hockessin area made its way to social media with Facebook experts conjuring up all sorts of frightening scenarios. State Police later tried to tamp down the speculation by noting that they could not confirm the report.
Early this week some dots were connected when Gov. John Carney revealed that police intelligence indicated that a Washington resident was linked to the goings-on in Wilmington.
The interview on DelawareOnline raised more questions than it answered, but seemed to hint that some organized plan could have been in place. Residents in one African American neighborhood in Philadelphia claimed they saw an organized effort to loot stores.
We may know more in the coming weeks and months and it is possible that the intelligence was faulty.
Looting and vandalism are often a byproduct of mob behavior and local residents are not incapable of engaging in criminal activity.
Protests continue throughout the nation as Carney turned down a request to send a small contingent of National Guard troops to Washington, D.C. to bolster an already substantial military presence.
Meanwhile, Carney and Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki are under fire from largely white suburban and small-town residents who claim their response was too weak and should have involved the National Guard.
For old-timers, it seems like the 1960s all over again. It’s not a good feeling. – Doug Rainey, chief content officer.