Riot-Damaged CVS Pharmacy Is a Harsh Blow to Baltimore Community

April 30, 2015
Meghan Ross, Associate Editor

A wrecked and looted CVS pharmacy in Baltimore signifies the scale of the riots driven by the death of Freddie Gray.

A wrecked and looted CVS pharmacy in Baltimore signifies the scale of the riots driven by the death of Freddie Gray.

The Baltimore Sun even labeled the pharmacy a “symbolic flashpoint of the Baltimore riot.”

A video from the newspaper shows a crowd gathering outside the CVS at the corner of West North and Pennsylvania avenues in West Baltimore, and a woman running away from the store with several bags of diapers in tow.

In addition to being looted, the pharmacy had its windows broken, and it was set on fire on April 27, 2015. The water hose aimed at flames was also slashed during the riot, The Baltimore Sun reported.

The pharmacy had closed at 3 PM that day, so no employees were in the store when the riots broke out, The Baltimore Sun reported.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said the pharmacy provided jobs for the community and was the only new store in the area to fill prescriptions.

“What happened last night means that more people are struggling,” the mayor told The Baltimore Sun. “We worked very hard to get CVS to come here.”

City Council President Bernard C. Young also criticized the rioters’ destruction of the CVS.

“I am asking all of you out there looting to stop it. Please stop it,” The Baltimore Sun reported Young saying. “When you loot the CVS store, that means that your relatives who work in those stores can’t go to work, so they can’t get paid. There's a ripple effect. This has gone from being a protest to rioting."

CVS spokeswoman Carolyn Castel told The Baltimore Sun that the store served a “great number of people.”

“We have a long history of serving inner-city communities, and we remain committed to serving our patients and customers in Baltimore,” Castel told the newspaper.

A day after the looting and fire, the CVS continued to draw crowds of rioters and police presence, the paper reported.