Traffic has been delayed near Queens Center Mall due to the presence of emergency personnel in response to reported looting.
Video that surfaced on social media Monday afternoon shows a group of people running around the mall attempting to kick through boarded up windows.
The situation does not seem to be a protest related to the death of George Floyd and the continuation of police violence against black men and women across the country, but rather a previously planned “loot out” that had allegedly been scheduled to begin at the mall, located at 90-15 Queens Blvd., around 1 p.m., according to a notice obtained by QNS, which has been cropped to remove derogatory language.
An NYPD spokesperson confirmed with QNS that the 110th Precinct had received several calls regarding the situation and had sent officers to the area, but, as of 4 p.m., could not offer confirmation of any violence, vandalism or arrests made at the scene.
Another video surfaced on Twitter showing police vehicles following a group of people who seemed to be running away from the mall.
The city’s official emergency notification system sent out a Tweet warning of expected traffic delays due to the incident.
Due to protest activity, expect traffic delays and a heavy presence of emergency personnel in the area of the Queens Center Mall in Queens. Consider alternate routes and allow for additional travel time.
— NYCEM – Notify NYC (@NotifyNYC) June 1, 2020
New York City Transit announced that several buses have been detoured in response to the situation.
Q11, Q21, and Q52-SBS buses are detoured in both directions and will end on Woodhaven Blvd and Eliot Av because of a protest near the Queens Center Mall.
— NYCT Bus. Stay Home. Stop the Spread. (@NYCTBus) June 1, 2020
The “loot out” is a change of pace in Queens, which has seen several peaceful protests in recent days in response to Floyd’s death.
UPDATE (5:55 p.m.): City Councilman Robert Holden said that some of the alleged looters threw bricks a police officers.
“Crowds gathered, vandalized part of the building and police vehicles, broke some windows, and threw bricks at officers including the captain,” Holden tweeted. “The precinct dispersed the crowds and prevented looting, and the captain said he will not tolerate this vandalism and aggression.
Holden said he spoke with the commanding officer of the 110th Precinct, who told him that was there was no looting of the Queens Center Mall.
This story first appeared on qns.com.