FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Businesses around Jefferson Pointe closed Tuesday as the shopping center prepared for a planned protest.
In the end, no demonstrations happened.
A rumor of planned protest at the shopping center spread on social media. That came as protests in downtown Fort Wayne resulted in more than 100 arrests and damage to businesses and property.
Jefferson Pointe ownership group RED Development issued the following statement about the rumored protest:
“We are heartbroken by the death of George Floyd, and the pain that his death and racial injustices cause in our communities everywhere. We, at Jefferson Pointe, were made aware of a possible gathering taking place at or around our property tomorrow afternoon. Because we are private property, we are proactively working with the city of Fort Wayne and the FWPD to ensure safety for our community.”
On Monday, anchor tenant Von Maur closed and boarded up its entrances. A sign on one piece of plywood reads: “OUR STORE IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED. WE APOLOGIZE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE.”
By Tuesday morning, Buckle were boarded up, and Barnes and Noble was closed for the day. Michael’s planned to close at 12:30 p.m.
Just outside the shopping center, Biaggi’s restaurant was closed, and Triumph gym was boarded up.
By 2 p.m., the entire shopping center was closed, and police blocked all entrances.
Fort Wayne Police, Allen County Sheriff’s Department and Indiana State Police officers were all at the shopping center by 2:30 p.m. Security guards rode bicycles around the interior of the outdoor mall.
Police reopened the entrances at 4 p.m. after no protesters arrived at the private property.