Amid nationwide protests, the Westfield Countryside Mall in Clearwater is closed today, but will reopen tomorrow with “special hours.”
In a statement, the mall says the closure is “For the welfare of our customers, employees, and retail partners.”
The statement later goes on to read, “We strongly believe in the importance of inclusivity and in the strength of our community - please stay safe, and we look forward to reopening to serve you soon.”
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Clearwater Police Chief Dan Slaughter said he did not direct the mall to close but was aware of “various unsubstantiated threats of looting at malls in the area.”
The mall will open Thursday with special hours from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The closure is following protests in reaction to the death of George Floyd, a Minneapolis man who died after an officer pressed his knee into his neck for over eight minutes, in St. Petersburg and Tampa.
Tuesday’s protests ended with many detained, pepper-sprayed and shot at with non-lethal rounds.
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