Ferguson, Missouri (a suburb of the St. Louis area) is making the national news. But not in a good way. On Saturday Michael Brown, an African-American teenager, was killed in an altercation with the police. Afterwards the officer gave his version of what happened. A friend of Michael Brown contradicted that version. The incident turned into 'he said, she said', and racial tensions began running high.
Last night there was a candlelight vigil that turned violent. Several businesses were looted, and a gas station was burned.
On the way to work today I heard the young man's parents were going to hold a press conference about the matter, but Ferguson isn't particularly close to the mall so I didn't think any more about it. Shortly after I opened the Customer Service desk I got a call from the main office letting me know there'd been rumors on social media that some people were calling for incidents at several places, including this mall. They were aware of it, and had extra Security guards and police officers on the floor.
For a while after I hung up the phone I startled at every strange noise, but after an hour or so I relaxed. There was indeed an extra safety presence, although they looked a little bored. Over the course of my shift I fielded several calls asking me if the mall was open. (I guess those people had heard the rumors, too). When my co-worker arrived to relieve me mid-afternoon I passed on everything I'd been told. We agreed we hoped the sad issue resolves itself soon.