It was a day that saw Walmarts across the region close due to threats of protests and possible looting over the killing of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis on Memorial Day. Walmart in Aberdeen was no different.
The manager of Walmart decided to close the store around 5 pm on Sunday out of caution for possible protesters and to protect the employees. The Walmart in Fayetteville had seen extensive vandalism on Saturday, along with Cross Creek Mall and other locations.
Aberdeen Police Chief Carl Colasacco said they had reason to believe protestors might show up at the Aberdeen Walmart, and it was closing out of an abundance of caution.
As the staff began to close the store and get the last of the customers out, law enforcement was already setting up outside. Multiple law enforcement agencies began converging at Walmart and setting up a perimeter. By the time everything was in place, there was an extensive law enforcement presence onsite to include even officers on the rooftop. Aberdeen Fire & Rescue also responded with fire trucks to aid officers in securing the perimeter.
As the sun was setting, the first of the protesters began arriving. They carried signs and could be seen peacefully marching along Turner Street and later moving into the parking lot.
Crowds gather to watch the group of protesters, albeit small, while the protestors carried messages on their signs and in their chants. At one point, several of the protestors could be seen speaking peacefully with police officers in the parking lot.
Photos by Sandhills Sentinel Photographer John Patota.
At the time of this report, the protest had remained small and peaceful.