Watch CBS News

'Like A War Zone': Chaos, Looting Erupt In Port Richmond In Wake Of Police Shooting Of Walter Wallace Jr.

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A curfew will go into effect at 9 p.m. in Philadelphia. Officials hope it will prevent a repeat of last night.

Looters ravaged stores in Port Richmond, helping themselves to merchandise and leaving behind plenty of damage.

On Wednesday, Mayor Jim Kenney says the looting does not honor the memory of Walter Wallace Jr., who was shot and killed by police Monday.

Kenney says the city is seeking justice, not destruction.

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw says 911 calls and bodycam footage from both police officers involved in the shooting will be released as soon as Wallace Jr.'s family is able to review it.

Outlaw says officers had rocks, bricks and even blood thrown on them during protests Tuesday night. Of the 23 injured officers, all are expected to be OK and have been released from hospitals.

Chaos, violence, and looting erupted on the streets in Port Richmond.

"It was like a war zone here last night," one woman said.

The anger is a direct result of unrest in the city following the Monday afternoon police shooting of Wallace Jr. in West Philadelphia.

For hours, there was mayhem in Northeast shopping centers. Police say looters rolled in by the carload and seized opportunities to grab anything that wasn't nailed down.

At one point, a police commander told Eyewitness News the unprotected business corridor along Aramingo Avenue was "a total loss."

"Drove through our street last night, that had four televisions on top, three in the backseats, gunshots, it was like a war zone. That's the only way I can describe it," one witness said.

The economic toll is unknown. But plywood boards are going up as businesses are forced to close their doors again.

Fifty-three people were arrested for burglary Tuesday night into Wednesday, according to numbers police released Wednesday afternoon. Another four people were charged with robbery and eight people face counts of assaulting police.

A total of 23 officers were hurt but all are expected to be OK.

"It is just horrendous," said Mayfair resident Bernadette Johnson.

Johnson and her children decided to check out the damage for themselves, shaking their heads at the loss.

"It's sad because it hurts everybody, it doesn't help Wallace back to life, it doesn't help the community, it just shuts everything down," Johnson said. "There's no benefit in it. We have to come up with a better solution, we have to think of better ways to resolve what's going on in this country."

Philadelphia Police Deputy Commissioner Mel Singleton says despite the roving looting patrols working Tuesday night, police estimate a crowd of more than 1,000 overtook the shopping centers in Port Richmond.


Stimulus Package Update: What Happens To The Economy Without A Second Stimulus?

Philadelphia Issues Citywide Curfew Following Second Night Of Protests, Looting

Walter Wallace Jr.'s Family Pleads For End To Unrest Following Deadly Police Shooting: 'Stop This Violence And Chaos'

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.