The mayor of Philadelphia decided Thursday not to renew the curfew introduced the day before, simply calling on residents to “stay at home” following violence that erupted in the city after the death of a black man shot on Monday by the police.
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“There will be no curfew tonight, but we encourage residents to stay home,” tweeted Jim Kenney, Democratic mayor of Pennsylvania’s First Metropolis.
A curfew had been established from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. on the night of Wednesday to Thursday, after two days of demonstrations and looting which had left dozens of lightly injured among the police.
The night was quieter, according to AFP journalists there. But stores were still damaged or looted. Police said they had recorded 29 burglaries, four officers slightly injured and 11 damaged ATMs.
In total, since the start of these disturbances on Monday evening, 210 people have been arrested and 57 officers injured, including one seriously, according to a police spokesperson.
The unrest began after a video was posted on social media showing the death of a 27-year-old man, Walter Wallace Junior, shot dead in the street by two police officers at West Philadephia.
Police, responding to a family dispute call, said they ordered the man to throw the knife he was armed with. She says Walter Wallace refused to comply with the officers’ orders.
But according to family lawyer Shaka Johnson, the man suffered from bipolar disorder, and the call was for medical emergencies, not the police. The lawyer also claimed that the police fired 14 bullets, when one would have been enough to remove any danger.
The two police officers, whose names have not been released, have been suspended. An investigation was opened, by the police and the local prosecutor, on which the chief of the police of Philadelphia, Danielle Outlaw, promised “total transparency”.
The mayor said Thursday “hope to make public soon” the images filmed by the on-board cameras of the police, which should make it possible to better understand the circumstances of the shooting.
According to Mr Johnson, as quoted by local media, the images, shown to the family on Thursday, show a man presenting “clearly of mental disorder”. Someone would be heard shouting, “he has mental problems”, before one of the police officers orders to “shoot him”.
A few days before the presidential election, the troubles in Philadelphia have added to the tensions that reign in this key state. President Donald Trump on Wednesday cited the violence as an example of the inability of major Democratic cities to maintain order.