PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — President Donald Trump wants the National Guard to be deployed to Philadelphia as violence and looting has gripped the city for a second straight day. City officials announced that the National Guard will be arriving in the city on Sunday night.
“Law & Order in Philadelphia, NOW! They are looting stores. Call in our great National Guard like they FINALLY did (thank you President Trump) last night in Minneapolis. Is this what voters want with Sleepy Joe? All Dems!” Trump tweeted, referring to presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
Over 200 people have been arrested in Philadelphia since the peaceful George Floyd protests turned violent on Saturday afternoon.
Over a dozen police officers have been injured.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said Sunday afternoon the city has made a request to get support from the National Guard.
Looting has continued in the city as stores were ransacked in Kensington, Port Richmond and West Philadelphia. Police vehicles were also set on fire in West Philly.
Earlier Sunday, the city closed off much of Center City after several businesses were looted on Saturday. The Ben Franklin Bridge has also been shutdown until further notice
Mayor Jim Kenney said the destruction in Center City “saddened and disappointed me beyond words, and I’m sure it saddened every Philadelphian who takes pride in their city.” He said those responsible “not only desecrated private businesses, they also desecrated the important message that was heard in the earlier peaceful protests.”
Commissioner Outlaw, the first black woman to lead the department, said many of those responsible for injuries, vandalism and fires weren’t acting in alignment with the peaceful protesters but with the intent to destroy “and quite frankly, those folks didn’t look like me.”
“So to hold up a ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign and then use the destruction that they were committing in the name of Black Lives Matter is not only a slap in the face but is completely a setback for everything that’s been accomplished by those who have been working to improve civil rights over the many many decades and those of us who are working internally to do our part to fix the issues within the criminal justice system,” she said.
Outlaw said much of Center City “from South (street) to Vine (street), from river to river” — from the Schuylkill River to the Delaware River — would be blocked off, affecting roads, bridges and expressway entrances and exits as well as the city’s transit agency. The Ben Franklin bridge between Philadelphia and Camden, New Jersey, was closed until further notice.
Kenney and other officials hailed thousands of volunteers who came out Sunday morning to help clean up the damage. “I hope that the story of May 30-31 isn’t about what happened last night but about what happened this morning,” Managing Director Brian Abernathy said.
The mayor said the city would accelerate plans to move a statue of former Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo that was sprayed with graffiti Saturday by protesters who also tried to topple it and set a fire at its base. He said officials hoped to move it in “another month or so.”
Rizzo, mayor from 1972 to 1980, was praised by supporters as tough on crime but accused by critics of discriminating against minorities. His 10-foot-tall (3-meter-tall) bronze statue outside the Municipal Services Building, across from City Hall, has been defaced before and was to be moved next year.
Gov. Tom Wolf signed a disaster emergency declaration Saturday authorizing the adjutant general of the state National Guard and the Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner to activate personnel to help cities.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)