Washington, Sep 27 (EFE).- Between 15 and 20 people were arrested on Wednesday in Philadelphia (Pennsylvania, US) for participating in lootings that broke out after a judge decided not to file charges against a police officer who shot and killed a driver.
Street protests against Judge Wendy Pew’s decision took place throughout Tuesday afternoon. By nightfall, groups of primarily young people began looting stores in various parts of the city.
Acting Police Chief John Sanford said the looting was not linked to the demonstrations and that looters had taken advantage of the protests to engage in criminal behavior, according to media reports.
NBC Channel 10 reported overnight assaults and looting of stores in Center City, Port Richmond, Northeast, and West Philadelphia, about 220 kilometers from Washington, DC.
Groups of teenagers, with faces covered by masks, smashed shop windows, filled plastic bags with clothes, sports shoes, and accessories, and fled when police arrived.
The riots erupted after Judge Wendy Pew dismissed all charges, including one of murder, against police officer Mark Dial for shooting and killing driver Eddie Irizarry on August 14, an incident that was caught on videotape.
Following a preliminary hearing, Judge Pew accepted the defense’s argument that Dial’s shooting was justified because he was reacting to a threat to his safety.
Initially, police sources had said that Irizarry was out of his car and armed with a knife with which he had attacked the officers before he was shot. However, the video shows that at all times, Irizarry was inside the car. EFE