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River Park Stores Brace for Riot, Hoax or Not

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Sierra Glass Co. was placing boards at the Nordstrom Rack at the Villagio Shopping Center — the first stop on a busy Tuesday.

“They’ve been blowing us up,” David Turner said of the calls his company received.

He said he had four jobs in total for the day.

After social media rumors posts called for a violent protest at 4 p.m. today at River Park, many stores took precautions. Social media reposted an image of notes from an iPhone to take action after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Groups like the NAACP Fresno State chapter denounced anyone calling for violence in the name of Black Lives Matter. They said the original message, posted on Reddit, was an alt-right fake designed to incite civil unrest.

Workers from Sierra Glass Co. prepared Nordstrom Rack with boards on Tuesday morning. (GV Wire/David Taub)

River Park Getting Ready

“Tenants are afraid that it’s real. We just have to be prepared today.”Tracy Kashian, River Park spokeswoman

Tracy Kashian, spokeswoman for River Park, wasn’t willing to take a gamble that the post was a hoax.

We can’t take the chance that it’s not. Obviously, tenants are afraid that it’s real. We just have to be prepared today,” Kashian said.

Kashian said extra police and security guards will be posted in and around River Park.

“The tenants are deciding (to stay open or close) on their own. It’s nothing we’re requiring or asking them to do,” Kashian said. “They’re deciding if they want to barricade, to be prepared in case something happens.”

Several businesses had either boarded up their stores or were in the process on Tuesday morning.

Around noon, it was mainly quiet in the north side of River Park. Tilly’s was placing wooden boards across its storefront. Pink’s and Victoria’s Secret were already covered up.

On the end, Target remained open. Lines formed out the door at Best Buy.

“It’s sad. (Stores) just open their doors after COVID-19, and they were just starting to get a little bit back into the groove,” Kashian said.

Workers place boards at Tilly’s in River Park. (GV Wire/David Taub)

Standing With Law Enforcement

At 3 p.m., the community is invited to stand with law enforcement against violence at the Edwards Theater in River Park.

“This is not a planned press conference but will be a community outreach with the hope for peace and growth in our community,” the Fresno Police Department wrote on its Facebook page.

Facebook image of Fresno Police Department's Stand Against Violence on Tuesday, June 2, 2020

(Facebook/Fresno Police Department)

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email