New policy at a Virginia mall requires shoppers to ‘please remove hoods’

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**Embargo: Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, Va.**

This sign placed at an entrance of Norfolk’s MacArthur Center asks shoppers to “please remove hoods” before entering the mall.

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NORFOLK, Va. (WTKR) — There’s a new sign posted at each entrance of MacArthur Center.

This sign placed at an entrance of Norfolk’s MacArthur Center asks shoppers to “please remove hoods” before entering the mall.

The poster was put in place by mall management to enforce their dress code policy regarding hoodies.

“I feel like it’s for safety… everybody’s safety,” Charlie Evans said.

News 3 obtained a letter the general manager sent out Friday to mall tenants. The letter talks about holiday plans and includes an update from Norfolk Police regarding the recent arrests of two men involved in last month’s shooting inside the mall that sent two people to the hospital.

In the letter, management also addresses an update to the code of conduct. Loitering is no longer allowed in the mall.

“I think about the things that have happened here recently in regards to the shooting, and I kind of understand the worry given how many people go in and out of the mall,” Marcus Paige, a shopper, said.

To help reduce the number of people just hanging out, the mall removed public seating areas, including a charging station.

But the rule that’s getting people’s attention is the hoodie.

“It kind of makes sense to a degree, but I can understand how it would rub some people the wrong way,” Paige said.

“I get it, but at the same time, what are they going to do? Start banning sunglasses and hats? What’s next?” Charie Williams said.

The mall said they are working with the police department to increase patrols throughout the property and behind the scenes.

“I just want to see everybody happy. I just want to see families happy,” Evans said.

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