As turmoil plagues cities nationwide in the form of protests, riots, and lootings after the May 25th death of George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis police, drugstores are emerging as a common target.
From coast to coast, reports have surfaced of looters raiding pharmacies and carting out prescription drugs.
One group of looters smashed open a CVS display window and crawled through the shattered pieces on Sunday night in Friendship Heights, Washington DC, a news outlet reported. The “heavy looting” resulted in thieves surfacing a short while later with merchandise and prescription medicine in tow.
When crowds cleared, pill bottles were strewn across the sidewalk and neighboring streets.
From painkillers to birth control and cholesterol medication, Adderall and antidepressants, the looters laughed and shouted as if it were all a game, ABC 7 News – WJLA reported.
Meanwhile, chain drugstores in SoHo, New York fell prey to widespread destruction, as reported by The New York Times.
George Floyd died in police custody after Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin pinned him down and kneeled on his neck for more than 8 minutes in a moment caught on cellphone video.
Earlier last week, Minneapolis pharmacy owner Elias Usso watched live security footage in agony as looters ransacked his Seward Pharmacy shelves and set off a small fire in the back, a local news outlet reported.
Usso told the Star Tribune his biggest concern was customers not being able to get prescriptions on time.
“That’s a nightmare for a pharmacist,” Usso told the newspaper.
Separately, a Patch report out of the San Francisco Bay area detailed the arrests of two Vallejo men over accusations of breaking into the local CVS and looting 44 packages of prescription medication before officers recovered and returned it to the store.
The major pharmacy chain, not to mention Target, Walmart and Apple, recently announced hundreds of temporary store closures to protect employees’ safety amid the George Floyd protests. Amazon has also scaled back business and altered delivery routes and operations to ensure safety.