Several stores in River Park board up after social media post calls for riots

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FRESNO, California (KGPE) – A message circulating on social media caused several stores at Fresno’s River Park Shopping Center to board up their store fronts.

Many of the these businesses just started reopening only to close again.

Out of the dozens of stores and restaurants in Riverpark and the shopping center across the way, only about 14 are boarded up.

Those we spoke with say even though they are taking precautions, they are hopeful the community will remain peaceful. 

Crews worked throughout the morning on Tuesday, boarding up businesses with plywood.

After months of being closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, the reopening of some River Park stores cut short.

“The saddest part for me is that the tenants were starting to open and get back to a little bit of normalcy,” said Tracy Kashian, vice president of marketing and public relations for Riverpark.

Because of the recent events of looting and break-ins around the country and here in the Valley, business owners are taking precautions.

“They’re deciding on their own if they want to board up their spaces, if they want to be open or if they want to just step back for the day,” Kashian said.

Some stores posting signs, going a step further to let people know the business is minority owned. 

The Fresno Police Department also ramping up its presence in and around the shopping center, patrolling on foot and by car.

But most restaurants and other shops remaining open, like Smallcakes Fresno. They just opened their doors on Monday.

“It would just affect us if we had to close down so we decided no to leave the doors open and take it as it is,” said Leticia Juarez, manager of Smallcakes Fresno.

People walking about in Riverpark believe Fresno is better when it comes together.

“Violence with violence doesn’t work, we need to stand united,” said Karina Palmore, a Clovis resident.

There’s no word on when these stores will reopen, but police will be out in full force patrolling the area.

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