BALTIMORE, Oct 20 (Reuters) - A Rite Aid pharmacy in Baltimore shuttered after rioting over the high-profile death of a black man reopened on Tuesday in a sign of the city’s recovery from the unrest.
The ribbon-cutting on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in West Baltimore drew a crowd of onlookers, elected officials, company executives and White House aide Broderick Johnson, a Baltimore native.
“Baltimore is indeed open for business,” Democratic U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings said in thanking Rite Aid for reopening the store.
The pharmacy was among about 300 businesses damaged during arson, rioting and looting that erupted after the funeral of area resident Freddie Gray in April. A CVS pharmacy that was set ablaze became a symbol of the unrest and a rallying point for protesters.
Gray died from a spinal injury suffered while in police custody. Six officers face trial, with the most serious charge second-degree depraved-heart murder.
Rite Aid has 30 stores in Baltimore, with about 800 employees. Bryan Everett, the company’s executive vice president of operations, said reopening the site was a priority because the elderly, area residents and students depended on it for prescriptions and everyday needs. (Reporting by Donna Owens; Writing by Ian Simpson; Editing by Sandra Maler)