Casper Sam’s Club Closes Sunday Afternoon Amid Nationwide Unrest [UPDATED]
UPDATE (4:15 p.m. Sunday)
Sam's Club issued a statement regarding the Casper store closure almost immediately after we published our original story. Here's what they had to say:
As we continue monitoring the situations unfolding in cities across the country, we will keep our focus on prioritizing the safety of our associates and customers.
We’ll make the decisions to close or reopen stores in the area based on the needs of the community.
The statement, sent to K2 Radio News by Senior Manager of Corporate Communications Charles Crowson, evidently refers to peaceful protests and separately undertaken property damage occurring in many cities across the country after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on George Floyd for several minutes, despite Floyd repeatedly stating he could not breathe, apparently causing Floyd's death.
The incident was captured on video and the officer, Derek Chauvin, has since been arrested on charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
The Sam's Club store on Casper's east side closed Sunday afternoon, but no reason was given by local management and no corporate spokesperson was immediately available to comment.
The business has not made any statement on its social media pages regarding the closure, either. The adjacent Walmart location remained open as of 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
An employee told K2 Radio News that local managers would not make a statement, which is typical. Corporations prefer to release statements centrally rather than have individual store managers speak to reporters.
Reports are circulating of other Sam's Club locations closing in Cheyenne and Loveland, Colorado as well, though K2 Radio News was not immediately able to confirm those reports.
Some national chains have closed their storefronts amid peaceful protests and other, violent action across the country in the wake of George Floyd's killing and subsequent criminal charges brought against a Minneapolis police officer. It was not immediately clear whether the Casper store closure is related to those other closures.
No significant gatherings have taken place in Casper following Floyd's killing.