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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot pleaded with Walmart and Target not to abandon the city after looters vandalized the big box stores.

After a conference call with Walmart and other retailers that were targeted by looters, Lightfoot said she pleaded with the retailers to reopen and not abandon Chicago.

The stores are closed indefinitely - putting hundreds of employees out of work - after looters stole merchandise and set fires inside the buildings in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

"I think in the case of Walmart, what they were focused on was assessing the damage," said Lightfoot, who added the retailers are donating "fresh produce" and other perishables that weren't taken by looters.

There were earlier reports that Walmart would reopen all stores trashed by looters and vandals, but company officials later said some stores will remain closed permanently.

They didn't say which neighborhoods will be affected.

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Walmart, Costco and Target are barred from selling "nonessential" items such as clothing, TVs and appliances to discourage foot traffic in some states.

Big box retailers and grocery store chains in some states are barred from selling nonessential items to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Local governments in mainly Democratic states have used draconian measures such as threats of arrests and steep fines to herd residents inside their homes.

Stores have been allowed to stay open during lockdowns because they sell groceries and other essentials such as toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

But some states have gone a step further by ordering stores to remove nonessential items from the sales floor or rope off the items so shoppers can't access them.

President Donald Trump acknowledged that Black people have been disproportionately hit by the virus and are dying at a high rate.

Also hard hit are the elderly with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, asthma, cardiac disease, and people who are HIV-positive.

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A Missouri man was arrested and charged with making a terroristic threat after he recorded himself licking personal hygiene items on a shelf in a Walmart store.

Cody Lee Pfister, 26, posted a video of himself licking a row of deodorants at the Warrenton Walmart on March 11. "Who's scared of coronavirus?" he asked as he licked the items.

Pfister was identified by outraged citizens and arrested on Monday, March 23.

The Warrenton Police Department announced the arrest on its Facebook page, saying police received calls from concerned local residents, as well as foreigners in the Netherlands, Ireland and the United Kingdom to report the video.

"We take this incident very seriously, especially with this infectious disease and the state that the country is in," Lt. Justin Unger told NBC News. "We take these things seriously to protect our community."

Pfister's attorney, Patrick J. Coyne, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that his client's behavior was "immature" and "impulsive" and he shouldn't be treated like a criminal.

That "public conduct that was immature on March 10 looks completely different through the lens of today," Coyne said. "Everything has changed at warp sped, but that should not work retroactively and convert a tasteless and impulsive act into a criminal terrorist threat."

Pfister is being held in jail without bail. He appeared in court Wednesday and his next hearing is set for May.

Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

A Walmart store in Fort Pierce, Florida admits misusing $20,000 of a gift donation from Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack to pay off 350 layaways for Christmas.

TCPalm.com reports Mack's foundation approached store management and asked to "be a secret Santa."

Mack, a native of Fort Pierce, donated $80,000 to the Walmart location to pay off 350 layaways totaling $60,000.

The store manager disbursed the remaining $20,000 to store employees. It isn't clear if the manager intentionally overinflated the total cost of the layaways.

In a statement, a Walmart spokesman admitted the store management "misused" the $20,000.

"We have determined the site did not handle the transaction in keeping with Walmart's guidelines and have taken corrective action," company spokesperson Delia Garcia said in a statement.

A store employee alerted Walmart's corporate office to the misused funds. The whistleblower did not receive a share of the $20,000.

Garcia did not say how many employees received the $20,000.

Mack's charitable donation made headlines after the store sent out a tweet, writing: "If you have an active Holiday Layaway account at your local Ft. Pierce Walmart, your account has been paid off!"

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Walmart has apologized for selling a Christmas sweater that featured a Santa Claus who was jolly for all the wrong reasons.

Walmart pulled the sweaters from its online inventory and apologized after customers complained on Twitter.com on Saturday.

The sweater featured Santa Claus seated at a table preparing to snort three lines of what appears to be powdered cocaine. The sweater was emblazoned with the words "Let It Snow."

Twitter users argued, even if Walmart didn't notice the offensive image on the sweater, how could they miss the product description: "Santa really likes to savor the moment when he gets his hands on some quality, grade A, Colombian snow."

"Walmart, explain why was this okay? Ever! Who was the target market?" tweeted one irate user.

Walmart also removed other offensive Christmas sweaters that featured a partially nude Santa sitting on a porcelain throne and a Santa spanking Mrs. Claus.

In a statement to Global News, Walmart apologized profusely for "any unintended offense this may have caused" and attributed the blame to a "third-party seller" on Walmart Canada.

Walmart said the product did not "represent Walmart's values and have no place on our website."

TI photos by Aric Thompson

Tip "T.I." Harris appeared at Walmart on Cascade Road to personally give away free tickets to the Atlanta screening of Marvel Studios' Black Panther. The Atlanta Walmart on Cascade Road was one of 5 locations nationwide to offer FREE tickets!

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Essie Grundy

Walmart has a huge shoplifting problem. Shoppers are walking off with black hair care products without paying for them. One Los Angeles store is combating the theft problem by locking up black hair care products in a glass cabinet.

But one shopper is crying foul. Essie Grundy says she is being discriminated against based on the color of her skin. She retained celebrity attorney Gloria Allred to represent her in a discrimination lawsuit against the retail giant.

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