Philadelphia Curfew After Two Nights Of Chaos And Looting


Philadelphia Curfew After Two Nights Of Chaos And Looting

An overnight curfew came into force in Philadelphia after two days of protests and looting following the police killing of a black man.

The family of Walter Wallace Jr says he was suffering a mental health crisis when he was shot by officers. Police say he had refused to drop a knife.

On Tuesday night, protesters again clashed with police, and barricaded businesses across the city were looted.

The curfew order was citywide and began at 21:00 local time (01:00GMT).

The Pennsylvania National Guard as well as police reinforcements have been deployed in the city. Authorities say 30 officers were hurt during Monday night’s clashes.

Businesses boarded up their windows in fear of another night of violence.

Mr Wallace, 27, had bipolar disorder, and his wife told officers this before they shot him, a lawyer representing his family said.

Philadelphia also saw large protests earlier this year over police brutality and racism following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.

What happened on Tuesday?

The marches began peacefully on Tuesday but became more confrontational as the evening drew on. Officers in riot gear arrived in squad cars, on bicycles and on buses, and used their bikes to shove protesters back from barricade lines.

Shops around the city closed early and set up barricades. Police and the city’s office of emergency management said widespread looting was reported in several areas.

How has it reached the campaign trail?

Speaking at a campaign rally in Wisconsin on Tuesday, President Donald Trump attempted to tie the protesters to his democratic rival, former Vice-President Joe Biden, without providing evidence of a link.

“Last night [Monday] Philadelphia was torn up by Biden-supporting radicals,” he said. “Thirty police officers, Philadelphia police officers, they were injured, some badly. Biden stands with the rioters, and I stand with the heroes of law enforcement.”

On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the riots were “the most recent consequence” of the Democrats “war on police”, and that “mob rule” could never be allowed.

In a joint statement on Tuesday, Mr Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, said: “We cannot accept that in this country a mental health crisis ends in death.” They also condemned the looting as a crime.

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Speaking briefly to reporters on Wednesday, Mr Biden said: “I think to be able to protest is totally legitimate, totally reasonable. But there’s no excuse for the looting.”

Philadelphia is the largest city in Pennsylvania, a state critical to next week’s presidential election.

Mayor Jim Kenney, a Democrat, said the video of the shooting presented “difficult questions that must be answered”, and that he was looking forward to a “speedy and transparent resolution” to the case.

Philadelphia Curfew After Two Nights Of Chaos And Looting


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