Philadelphia Imposes Curfew after Two Nights of Riots

Rioters clash with police during a rally after the death of Walter Wallace Jr., who was shot by police in Philadelphia, Pa., October 27, 2020. (Yuki Iwamura/Reuters)

The Philadelphia mayor’s office announced a city-wide curfew on Wednesday following two nights of riots.

The riots were sparked after police on Monday shot and killed 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr., an African American man who police said was threatening officers with a knife. Looters ransacked businesses on Monday and Tuesday, and dozens of officers have been injured, including a 56-year-old sergeant who was intentionally run over with a truck.

“There will be a citywide curfew which will go into effect on Wednesday, October 28 at 9:00 p.m. through 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 29,” the mayor’s office said in a press release. “Grocery stores, restaurants and pharmacies may, in their discretion, choose to operate only for delivery services later than 9:00 p.m. and should implement appropriate measures to secure their facilities and protect onsite and delivery employees.”

Mayor Jim Kenney called for an end to the unrest in a press conference.

“I’m very disturbed by the damage that is being done in the communities,” Kenney told reporters. Wallace’s father, Walter Wallace Sr., called on Tuesday for the riots to cease.

“Have respect for my family and my son and stop this violence and chaos that’s going on in the city,” Wallace Sr. said. Shaka Johnson, a lawyer for the family, said that Walter Wallace Jr. was suffering from mental health issues and had been prescribed lithium at the time of his attempted arrest.

“When you come to a scene where somebody is in a mental crisis, and the only tool you have to deal with it is a gun…where are the proper tools for the job?” Johnson said.

While some non-violent protests have occurred in the wake of the shooting, rioters have vandalized and looted numerous businesses including several branches of Rite Aid and a Walmart, Foot Locker, Burlington, Target, and other stores. Police have arrested 172 suspects in connection with the violence.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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