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Montevideo, December 5th 2021 - 08:10 UTC

 

 

Philadelphia under after dark curfew following the killing of a black man by police triggered looting and arson

Thursday, October 29th 2020 - 08:19 UTC
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The streets of Philadelphia’s have been tense since Walter Wallace, 27, was gunned down on Monday by two police officers responding to a call for assistance The streets of Philadelphia’s have been tense since Walter Wallace, 27, was gunned down on Monday by two police officers responding to a call for assistance

Philadelphia officials imposed a citywide after-dark curfew on Wednesday, seeking to avert a third night of violence amid protests over the fatal police shooting of a black man wielding a knife and described by family as undergoing a nervous breakdown.

The streets of Pennsylvania’s largest city have been tense since Walter Wallace, 27, was gunned down on Monday by two police officers responding to what his relatives say was a call for assistance with a mental health crisis.

His death set off two nights of looting and periodic skirmishes between police in riot gear and protesters decrying the shooting as the latest instance of racially biased policing in a U.S. criminal justice system that often subjects African Americans to lethal force.

In a bid to tamp down further disturbances, Mayor Jim Kenney announced a 9 p.m.-to-6 a.m. curfew starting on Wednesday.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat, said he mobilized state National Guard troops to assist local law enforcement and emergency responders until order is restored. The troops were expected to begin arriving on Friday.

Philadelphia police made 172 arrests, and 53 officers were injured over two nights that began with peaceful demonstrations but gave way to looting of big-box stores and other businesses, some of them still recovering from unrest in the summer.

City officials said as many as 1,000 people were involved in looting in one corner of the city on Tuesday night, catching police off guard.

The turmoil turned Philadelphia into the latest flashpoint over racial justice days ahead of Tuesday’s presidential election. It caps months of protests ignited by the May 25 death of George Floyd, a Black man in handcuffs, as he was pinned by his neck to the street under the knee of a white Minneapolis policeman.

U.S. President Donald Trump, seeking a second term in office, has made support for police a top campaign issue, calling for a tough “law-and-order” stance toward protests. In Nevada on Wednesday, Trump said the events in Philadelphia were “terrible” and offered to send federal help.

On Tuesday, his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, lamented “another Black life in America lost,” adding, “We cannot accept that in this country a mental health crisis ends in death.”

Categories: Politics, United States.

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