On Tuesday night, Philadelphia witnessed a series of looting incidents and property damage carried out by predominantly juvenile individuals, as reported by local authorities.
Around 8 p.m., law enforcement began receiving reports of sizable crowds entering Center City, where various businesses fell victim to looting. Among the establishments targeted were the Footlocker and Apple store near 15th and Chestnut streets, as well as a Lululemon store in the vicinity.
Acting Police Commissioner John Stanford clarified that the looting events on Tuesday night were unrelated to the peaceful protest earlier in the day, which occurred following the dismissal of charges against the officer involved in the shooting of Eddie Irizarry. Stanford emphasized that those involved in the looting exploited the protest as an opportunity to engage in criminal activities.
He stated, “This had nothing to do with the protests. What we had tonight was a bunch of criminal opportunists.”
Police have made at least 20 arrests at this point, and two firearms were recovered, although it remains uncertain if they are linked to the looting.
In anticipation of such incidents, law enforcement had strategically positioned personnel in the area after the protest to ensure a swift response to any potential unrest.
“These were not protesters, these were criminals,” Stanford asserted.
A security guard at a Wendy’s, Hakeem Russell, reported that the store adjacent to Wendy’s on Chestnut Street had been broken into, and the guard was assaulted. Russell remarked, “A couple of kids decided they wanted to take full advantage of the unjust shooting that’s happened. It’s definitely been unrest around here since the verdict.”
Police expressed their dismay at witnessing a repeat of the unrest experienced by the city in 2020 and condemned attempts to recreate such situations.
While a police vehicle sustained damage, there have been no reports of injuries, according to law enforcement.
Reports of looting emerged not only in Center City but also in Port Richmond and Northeast Philadelphia throughout the evening, with officials suspecting coordinated movements of looters between these locations.
Mayor Jim Kenney, on Wednesday morning, expressed gratitude to the police for their vigilance overnight and characterized the events of the previous evening as a “sickening display of opportunistic criminal activity.”
Authorities intend to utilize surveillance footage from the night to identify and apprehend individuals involved in the looting. An ongoing investigation is in progress, according to the police.