- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 31, 2020

The novel coronavirus pandemic couldn’t shut down Target, but the rioting ripping apart major U.S. cities has.

The U.S. retailer said Sunday that more than 100 stores nationwide, including 33 in Minnesota, would be closed after a fifth night of violent protests in Minneapolis, spurred by Mr. Floyd’s death Monday in police custody.

“We are heartbroken by the death of George Floyd and the pain it is causing communities across the country,” said Target in a statement. “At this time, we have made the decision to close a number of our stores. We anticipate most stores will be closed temporarily.”

The decision came shortly after a Target store near the Third Precinct police station in Minneapolis was ransacked by rioters, with photos showing extensive damage, flooding and vandalism. Other Target stores have also been broken into by looters.

The precinct was destroyed in a fire Thursday night set by rioters after Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey ordered police to vacate the building.

Other locations closing temporarily include those in California, Colorado, Illinois, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Texas. Six locations are closed “until further notice.”

The Target Corporation, which operates nearly 1,900 U.S. stores, said that employees in those locations would be paid for “up to 14 days of scheduled hours during store closures, including COVID-19 premium pay,” and would also have an opportunity to work at other nearby locations.

“Our focus will remain on our team members’ safety and helping our community heal,” said the statement.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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