The Baltimore Harbor had a quiet night on Tuesday, the first night of the city’s 10 p.m. curfew, which will remain in effect through 5 a.m. May 4, unless renewed or rescinded by order of the Mayor. But the curfew didn’t go smoothly everywhere, with Baltimore police reporting that a group of protesters at North Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue “continue to be aggressive. They are throwing items at police.”
The protests and riots that gripped the city escalated after Monday’s funeral of Freddie Gray, a suspect who died in police custody of severe spinal cord injuries.
Mondawmin Mall in West Baltimore was hit hard by looters and others destroying property. The mall looked like a “war zone” with broken glass and debris at the mall’s entrance and damage to stores inside, according to reports.
The mall, located in West Baltimore, was closed on Tuesday and posted a notice on its Web site saying it would be closed on Wednesday as well. “The understanding is that the mall is planning to stay closed until Sunday,” said a Target spokesman.
The retailer’s store at Mondawmin is said to have revived the aging mall where stores include Ashley Stewart, Forever 21, Ross Dress for Less and Jimmy Jazz.
Target said the exterior of the Mondawmin Mall store was damaged, but “it didn’t experience any looting. We’re monitoring the situation.” The spokesman said it’s likely that the store will stay closed through the weekend. “There’s a state of emergency and a curfew. We’re operating out of an abundance of caution.”
Target’s other unit in the eastern part of the city at 3550 Boston Street remains open, but will close early on Wednesday, at 9 p.m. to comply with the curfew, the spokesman said. “It’s a chaotic situation. Our foremost concern is the safety of our guests and team members.”
Malls at the inner harbor were open on Wednesday, including Harborplace, the Light Street Pavilion and Pratt Street Pavilion and The Gallery. On Saturday, a looter broke an outer window of the Michael Kors store at The Gallery as terrified shoppers ran.
“There are still a lot of National Guard troops around,” said Mike Evitts, vice president of the Downtown Baltimore Partnership. “This is probably the safest place in the city. That doesn’t mean we’re seeing a lot of shoppers. A lot of businesses are concerned, not about safety, but logistics. If there’s a protest, it affects traffic. There are protests scheduled for today and throughout the week. Everybody’s taking a wait-and-see approach. Everyone’s normal routines have been disrupted.”
Evitts said the curfew is adversely affecting bars and restaurants in the area. “To have a vital shopping district, you need to have those businesses. All of them are struggling now. Not just because of the curfew, we’ve had some conventions cancelled this week. They also make much of their business during baseball season.”