Rioting in Philly must be stopped


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Philadelphia joined a number of urban areas across the country this week when riots erupted over tensions with police.

Andrew Crocker, A&E Contributor

Riots broke out Monday night in response to a police shooting in the city of Philadelphia. The shooting in question refers to an incident that took place at approximately 4 p.m. the same day. Police were responding to a call from Locust St. when they encountered an African-American man wielding a knife. The two cops drew their guns and ordered the man to drop the weapon. The video shows that he did not and continued to approach the two officers. The officers then shot the man. As the video continues, the cops are shown to approach the man as a crowd gathers. It is also seen that the mother of the man repeatedly strikes one of the officers. The man was rushed to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center where he sadly died of his wounds. He was later identified as 27 year old Walter Wallace Jr. According to Walter Wallace Sr., Walter Jr.’s father, he was mentally ill and on medication at the time of the shooting. This shooting would spark yet more violence in the hours to come.

Philadelphia’s Fraternal Order of Police president, John McNesby, has come out in support of the two officers saying the men are “being vilified” for “doing their job”. Meanwhile mayor Jim Kenney and police commissioner Danielle Outlaw are speaking of an investigation. The situation has further been exasperated by the mayor saying the shooting” presents many difficult questions that must be answered” by an investigation.

The Riots

That day more violence would occur as 300 people partook in a riot to protest the shooting. The protest would start in a park with people chanting “Black Lives Matter”, but soon woefully spread and lead to violence. Parts of the city had been turned into a virtual war zone as buildings were looted and police attacked. Videos would soon emerge of several violent activities. The police have reported that one fire
and five police vehicles were vandalized. Footage has shown that at least one police car was set ablaze by rioters. Video has also arisen of a man looting a police van. Further video shows violence targeting the police themselves. There is clear footage of cops having items like rocks, bottles, and even garbage cans thrown at them. There is also video of a mob chasing a group of cops down the street. This being said perhaps the most disturbing footage consists of a black truck running into a line of police.

During this time several stores were attacked and looted. These include several rite aid stores, clothing stores, shoe stores, and a restaurant. There are also several ATMs damaged. Much merchandise was strewn across the streets during these acts of destruction and theft. The community will continue to suffer from the violence last night and it seems likely violence will continue. By the end of the night 33 rioters had been arrested on various charges stemming from their parts in the violence. It is also confirmed that no less than 30 police officers suffered injuries. The 56 year old sergeant that was struck by the truck was hospitalized with several broken bones.

Tuesday night the violence continued. News helicopters picked up the mass looting. They clearly show the reported one thousand looters stealing shoes and electronics. Both the Fox News and ABC6 Helicopters were on the scene as these thugs stole televisions, electronics, and looter furniture stores. This all happened despite the increased deployment of police. As of Wednesday a total of 90 people have been arrested in connection to the riots. It is due to the violence over the last two nights that the Pennsylvania national guard will now be mobilized. Riots also broke out in Brooklyn on the same night. About 200 rioters gathered in Fort Greene Park. These extremists rampaged through the streets destroying much property. They started at least one fire and damaged several cars. This mob continued to destroy property, breaking several windows. The rioters also vandalized police vehicles and buildings with spray paint. When the group was confronted by police they attacked them and threw objects at them. Riot police were brought in to quell the unnecessary violence. This would lead to about 30 arrests, but not before a car sped through a line of riot police. The driver is still at large.

The Start of the Riots

Riots have seemed to become a staple of 2020 as they have spread across the US and in fact the world starting in late May. The initial riots started over the death of an African-American, George Floyd, at the hands of cops on May 25. This sparked mass protests of police issues, but
sadly many fell into violence. Soon mass riots gripped the world. Much damage has been done to many communities as the riots stretched out over these many months. The violence must end but, much to my lamentation, there does not seem to be an end in sight.

My Opinion

This violence is unacceptable. It must be stopped. Calling in the national guard to stop the riots is a good thing. The people must be protected from these violent extremists. Those who riot must be prosecuted for their crimes. Despite this, many prosecutors have released
rioters without charges. This is even with clear video and witnesses of the incidents. The behavior of these prosecutors is unacceptable. It is for this reason that I believe that the federal police deputised the state and local police to bring these criminals to justice. I am glad to see that the mayor of Philadelphia is bringing in the national guard to stop the terrorists. Now one may say that terrorists is a strong word, well the definition of terrorists is, “a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.” People who riot for political change or beliefs are, by definition, terrorists. This terrorism is absolutely horrifying.

The use of police and the national guard to put down the insurrection is necessary for the safety of the people. It needs to be shown that riots will not be allowed. The prosecutors must come down hard on the rioters and show everyone that political, and indeed all, violence will not be tolerated. Once the violence stops the message of actual protestors can better get through. Peaceful protests are great. They are protected by the first amendment and should be allowed. Once the protests start to attack people and their property it is no longer a protest. It only hurts the

Honestly I am even okay with civil disobedience. This takes the form of minor crimes, ie. holding up traffic or picketing a building. You may get arrested, but as long as it is peaceful I am fine with it and I am fine with the arrests. Civil disobedience breaks the law so I expect the protestors
to be arrested, as do the protestors themselves. This being said it gives a powerful message and does not hurt anyone. When harm is not done to either person or property I will not be against the protestors, no matter what they are saying. “I may not agree with what you say, but I
will fight to the death your right to say it.”

Riots are not protests. They are nothing more than senseless violence that must be put down. Those who partake in this extremism must be arrested and punished to the full extent of the law. Peaceful protests should be allowed and encouraged, but not rioting. Get your message across without hurting civilians. This negates any message you are trying to send. It is for all these reasons that riots must be stopped by use of police and the national guard.