Following a night of violent riots in Philadelphia that saw over 30 police officers injured, the city’s Mayor, Jim Kenney, has called in the Pennsylvania National Guard to keep the peace as the city braces for a second night of violence.
The city erupted in chaos on Monday night following the shooting death of Walter Wallace Jr., a black man who was armed with a knife. During the violence, numerous businesses were looted and several vehicles, including police cruisers, were torched.
“We were hoping that we won't have any repeat of we've seen last night and we're taking every precaution that we can,” Mayor Jim Kenney said, following Gov. Tom Wolf’s decision to activate the guard. The governor’s actions are a marked departure from other Democrat governors who’ve showed hesitation in mobilizing support from the National Guard in the ongoing riots sweeping across the United States.
Several hundred members of the National Guard will assist local police in “protecting life, property, and the right to peacefully assemble and protest,” said Lt. Col. Keith Hickox in a statement.
"We are able to conduct operations in support of civil authorities to enhance local law enforcement’s ability to provide continued public safety and critical infrastructure security." According to Fox News, the Philadelphia Police Department will be reinforcing their presence across various “key locations” in the city where the likelihood of unrest is high. Police have also requested the assistance of federal law enforcement to bolster their ranks.
"For today and this evening, we anticipate the chance of additional incidents of civil unrest and, as such, we will be taking additional steps to ensure order," Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said during a news conference held alongside the mayor and city council members.