While Center City, West Philadelphia and Overbrook have maybe experienced the worst looting and rioting in the last several days, parts of the Northeast have also been vandalized.
Donny Smith, president of the Mayfair Civic Association and executive director of the Mayfair Business Improvement District, was out until 3 a.m. Tuesday morning and reported damage to Mayfair Drug Store, the Sunoco at Frankford and Bleigh avenues and GameStop.
Smith said looters targeting the TD Bank at Frankford and Unruh avenues met their match in the heavily armed guards who were stationed in front of Lock’s Gun Shop, directly across the street.
On Sunday night, the Dollar Tree in the Mayfair Shopping Center was looted, as was Boost Mobile, 7354 Frankford Ave.
On Monday afternoon, looters were having their way at Walmart and Old Navy, at Northeast Tower, 4640 Roosevelt Blvd. Sprint’s window was smashed in.
“Open the trunk, I’m going back in,” one man said as he was carrying Walmart goods.
As looters were emptying Walmart, about five neighbors were sweeping up debris and collecting trash outside the store.
Also on Monday afternoon, looters were inside Citi Trends, a clothing store at Rising Sun Plaza, though they quickly ran away when two 2nd Police District cars showed up.
Near Philadelphia Mills, there was spray paint and a broken window at Dynasty Restaurant.
Parkwood residents, some armed with guns and bats, were out on Sunday and Monday night protecting the mall and their properties from people who showed up to vandalize shops. The 8th Police District, Highway Patrol and police officers from Bensalem, Lower Southampton and Warminster were also present to chase away the outsiders.
“Be organized, be together, don’t make it easy for them,” Parkwood Civic Association president John Del Ricci told a group of about 200 people Monday night at Junod Playground, adding that they should put on their outside lights.
Meanwhile, a Philadelphia police officer had his foot run over while responding to looting at the Mayfair Shopping Center. The incident happened at 3:49 a.m. on Monday while the officer was making an arrest on the 6400 block of Frankford Ave. A looter fleeing the scene ran over his foot, and he was transported to Jefferson Frankford Hospital.
In light of the riots that resulted in hundreds of arrests, FOP Lodge 5 president John McNesby issued a statement saying “vandalizing and looting our great city will not be tolerated.”
On Saturday, people gathered outside City Hall and the Philadelphia Museum of Art to peacefully protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed by an officer in Minneapolis.
The protests quickly escalated, with people setting police cars on fire, shattering windows at City Hall and more. Protesters also sprayed graffiti on the statue of former Mayor Frank L. Rizzo and tried to topple the structure.
“Our officers last night showed incredible restraint, bravery and courage under very, very difficult conditions,” McNesby said.
Amid the riots, a 9th Police District officer was hospitalized with a broken arm after being struck by a hit-and-run vehicle near 7th and Chestnut streets in Center City while the officer was attempting to stop a looting.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with this officer and the many others injured last night,” McNesby said.
A threatened Black Lives Matter protest Monday night somewhere on Cottman Avenue never took place. Police were ready at Frankford and Cottman avenues, and officers blocked all entrances to Roosevelt Mall.
In the wake of the violence and looting that took place in Philadelphia and surrounding counties over the last weekend, U.S. Attorney William McSwain participated in a news conference Monday to address the role his office will play in restoring order and enforcing the rule of law. Other speakers at the news conference were McNesby, state Rep. Martina White and U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey.
McSwain praised the restraint of cops and said, “I also issue this warning: If you engage in violence and destruction and we have federal jurisdiction over your crime, you will be prosecuted in federal court to the fullest extent of the law. That is a promise.” ••