The city of Philadelphia lived on Tuesday a second night of demonstrations, marked by arrests, violent clashes and looting, following the death of a dejected black man by policeman, a fact that threatens to reactivate the anti-racist movement one week from presidential election in United States.
Police warned on Twitter that a large crowd, about 1,000 people, looted businesses in the Castor and Aramingo neighborhoods and advised residents to “avoid the area.” Pictures taken by a helicopter showed a Foot Locker store and another business.
An AFP reporter in another area, West Philadelphia, where another crowd of about 1,000 gathered, saw armed police with batons in violent clashes with dozens of protesters. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s office announced the deployment of hundreds of National Guard soldiers to the city to “protect the right to peaceful assembly and protest while keeping people safe.”
The violence erupted after police killed a 27-year-old man identified as Walter Wallace Jr., who suffered from mental health according to his family. As a video circulating on social media shows, Wallace was shot several times by two police officers for whom he did not pose an imminent threat. “There is much confusion as to why” the police killed the young man, said Ezra Alidow, a 25-year-old artist Tuesday. “It’s happening all over the United States, it’s scary,” he said.
The police carried out 90 arrests during the first night of riots and sporadic looting on Monday, and 30 uniformed men were injured, including one who broke his leg when he was hit by a truck.
A wave of anti-racist protests, which have sometimes led to episodes of violence, has gone through United States from the death of George Floyd, a black man killed by a white policeman in late May.
Many of the protesters accuse the police of racism Y brutalityBut President Donald Trump has taken advantage of the riots to push himself as the “law and order” candidate in his duel with Democratic rival Joe Biden in the November 3 election.