More than 50 arrested following night of looting throughout Philly, mayor says

Acting Police Commissioner John Stanford said Tuesday night's looting had nothing to do with the peaceful protest that took place after charges were dismissed against an officer who shot and killed Eddie Irizarry

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Large crowds — mostly consisting of adults — looted multiple stores and damaged property across Philadelphia Tuesday night, police said.

It was around 8 p.m. when, officials said, police started receiving calls that large crowds were making their way into Center City.

Among the stores looted were the Footlocker and the Apple store near 15th and Chestnut streets and a Lululemon store in the area.

Acting Police Commissioner John Stanford said Tuesday night's looting had nothing to do with the peaceful protest that took place earlier after charges were dismissed against the officer who shot and killed Eddie Irizarry.

Instead, he argued that those involved in looting used the protest as an excuse to engage in criminal behavior.

"This had nothing to do with the protests. What we had tonight was a bunch of criminal opportunists," Stanford said.

On the night of the incidents, Stanford also said police have made at least 20 arrests. By Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Jim Kenney told NBC10's Brian Sheehan that number had raised to 52 arrests "and counting."

"And, they are going to have to pay a price. This is not shoplifting," the mayor said. "This is looting. This is riot."

Officials also said two firearms were recovered, but officials aren't sure if they are connected to the looting.

Also, in response to the evening's events, all state wine and spirits stores in the Philadelphia region were shuttered on Wednesday.

Over 100 juveniles and young adults were involved but, as of Wednesday morning, police were still determining how many businesses were affected.

As of Wednesday evening, at least thirty people, including three juveniles, were formally charged with burglary. Seven of those charged are also facing riot charges.

Cellphone video shared with NBC10 shows a group running out of the Apple store after looting it.

Cellphone video shows large group of juveniles looting an Apple store in Center City Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

Police said they knew there was potential for something like this to happen so after the protest they moved personnel to the area to quickly respond in the instance anything happened.

“These were not protesters, these were criminals," Stanford said.

A security guard at the Wendy's, Hakeem Russell, said that the store next to Wendy's along Chestnut Street was broken into and the guard was assaulted.

"A couple a kids decided they wanted to take full advantage of the unjust shooting that's happened," Russell said. "It's definitely been unrest around here since the verdict."

During the evening, social media was awash with videos from incidents all over the city. Noted online personality Dayjia Blackwell, who posts as "Meatball" online, shared photos and videos -- even sharing footage of her own arrest.

Police said it's "disgusting" to see what our city went through in 2020 and for people to try to recreate it.

A police vehicle was damaged but there have been no reports of any injuries, police said.

"Everyone in the city should be angry," Stanford said.

Over the evening, NBC10 found reports of looting at locations in Center City as well as in Port Richmond and Northeast Philadelphia.

Officials said they believe caravans of looters moved between locations throughout the evening.

On Wednesday morning, Kenney thanked the police for their diligence overnight, calling the evening's incidents a "sickening display of opportunistic criminal activity."

Law enforcement officials said they plan to use surveillance video from the evening in an attempt to apprehend individuals who took part in the looting.

An investigation, police said, is ongoing.

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