Police across Mercer County increase patrols at retails shops and malls

Police in front of Hamilton Jewelers on Monday afternoon in Princeton. A handful of Princeton University students were protesting across the street at the entrance to the university. Photo by Krystal Knapp.

Law enforcement officials across Mercer County have been coordinating with the New Jersey State Police and increasing patrols at locations that are potential targets for looting like malls and jewelry stores.

In Princeton, rumors spread that a jewelry store on Nassau Street had been looted. The rumors were false. Police were outside the store as a precaution.

After violence and looting broke out in Trenton on Sunday night, police from several towns and state troopers responded. A strong police presence was visible at the Quaker Bridge Mall, downtown Princeton, and other locations late Sunday night.

The violence in Trenton broke out just after 8 p.m. on Sunday after a peaceful afternoon rally and march that ended before 5:30 p.m. (some news outlets like the Bergen Record incorrectly reported that the violence broke out in the late afternoon during the rally). Three police cars were set on fire and then people began looting stores in downtown Trenton, including a sneaker store, and liquor stores. People also looted shops at the Roebling Market and pharmacies.

Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora held a press conference late Sunday night and issued an 8 p.m. curfew for the city, which was already under a curfew because of gun violence. At least 11 people have been shot to death in the city since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Over the weekend, prosecutors from all of the counties in New Jersey issued a statement condemning police brutality and the killing of George Floyd, the 46-year-old, black Minneapolis man who was suffocated to death by a police officer.

In Camden, the police chief marched with protesters on Saturday. Police chiefs in the Mercer County region, including the chiefs of Princeton and West Windsor, issues statements condemning racism and police brutality. School officials in the region and the president of Princeton University issued statements as well.