Over 50 arrested after looting in Philadelphia hours after protests over dropped murder charge for cop who killed Black motorist

The police commissioner said the looters were not associated with the protests, but were ‘criminal opportunists’

Kelly Rissman
Wednesday 27 September 2023 21:24 BST
Philadelphia looting: 15-20 arrested

Looting erupted in the wake of protests in Philadelphia after a judge dropped all charges against Mark Dial, a former police officer who fatally shot motorist Eddy Irizarry last month.

So far, 49 adults and 3 juveniles have been arrested after stores were ransacked on Tuesday night, according to police on Wednesday. Police started getting calls that Foot Locker “had been ransacked in a coordinated attack” just before 8pm.

Other stores, like Apple and Lululemon were also looted, according to the Associated Press. Police recovered two firearms, the outlet added.

Interim Police Commissioner John Stanford said the looting spree was not connected to the protests. “What we had tonight was a bunch of criminal opportunists take advantage of a situation and make an attempt to destroy our city,” the police commissioner said at a news conference. “It’s not going to be tolerated.”

A judge dismissed all charges against Mr Dial on Tuesday. In the aftermath of the ruling, roughly 100 people marched around the City Center in protest of the decision.

Mr Dial had been facing voluntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, simple assault and other charges over the 14 August shooting of Irizarry at a traffic stop.

Irizarry supporters were chanting “no good cops in a racist system,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“Indict, convict, send those killer cops to jail. The whole damn system is guilty as hell,” the crowd said.

Maria Irizarry, the sister of the man who was killed, thanked the protestors for their support for her brother. She remarked that it took the judge just “a second” to side with Mr Dial’s defence team.

Irizarry’s father said in Spanish, according to the outlet, “It was a brutality. If it were one of her kids, what do you think she would’ve done?”

After the judge’s ruling, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office appealed the decision in order to refile all charges against Mr Dial – who was fired from the police department last month.

The grieving father added that he hopes a judge “who knows the law” would hear the District Attorney’s appeal.

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