Looting: City sends message of weakness

Here it is Wednesday evening and the city of Philadelphia has announced a curfew from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m.

Looks like Black Friday shopping on Aramingo Avenue

No, it’s not because of a hurricane or blizzard. It’s because of another “natural” disaster — a fraction of our citizens who believe they are free to maurade, and the helplessness of our city “leaders” to stop them. That sends a message. 

The excuse for the looting this time is poor Walter Wallace Jr., a “family man” and “aspiring rapper” as the Inquirer says, or a career criminal who had threatened his mother, as his rap sheet says.

He had mental problems. In his frequent run-ins with the law, some judges recommended mental treatment. So far, there is no report that he received it. That sends a message. 

The people who blew up at least 20 ATMs were not seeking justice for the shooting, which is being investigated. The cops are reviewing body cam footage, which should be immediately released by Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw. Added to the video shot by witnesses, it will make a complete record.

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, the 52nd street corridor was looted — again.

Stores along Aramingo Avenue were looted — again. These stores are miles from where Wallace was shot in West Philly’s Cobbs Creek neighborhood.

This morning I noticed wood sheeting going up on stores on Walnut Street in Center City, stores that were looted after the death of George Floyd in the spring. Stores that received no police protection.

And there was no police protection Tuesday night as Fox 29’s  Steve Keeley reported that police were ordered to not arrest looters. Action News carried footage of cars pulling into parking lots on Aramingo and looters carrying out cases of stolen merchandise. It almost looked like Black Friday. 

The convenience store next to my Center City condo was looted by about 30 “youths,” and for the first time, my condo council has hired security guards to protect the building, and has warned residents to take care on the streets. Our building is on lockdown after dark.

What is this — Chechnya? The curfew punishes innocent citizens. Is this the best the city can come up with? 

The Wallace family, to its credit, has repeatedly asked for no riots and no looting as that disrespects the victim. The looters don’t care because they have no regard for him. Ask them to remember his name and they reply “Foot Locker,” “CVS,” “Apple.”

And the city lets them get away with it.

I hate to say it, and some of you will go batshit to hear it, but, no, Frank Rizzo would never have run up the white flag of surrender to those he called “crimnals.”

I don’t know what desk Mayor Jim Kenney is hiding under or how he can justify his inaction. The first responsibility of government is to protect the citizens, and he is failing.

After the spring George Floyd debacle, he dropped charges against the few accused rioters the cops were able to collar. I guess he wanted to beat D.A. Larry Krasner to the punch.

You can’t arrest them all, when there are hundreds, of them, but you can arrest some, and that sends a message to the other thieves, who will scatter. Then you prosecute and incarcerate. That sends a message. 

For some three months more than 100 trespassers occupied the Parkway and ignored city orders to disperse. They finally agreed to leave a week ago and a few remained even this morning. This was after Kenney paid their ransom demand. The message was sent: The mayor can be rolled. 

The law seems to mean little to a slice of our citizenry.

What that says to the other 98% of us is this: Arm up. You are on your own.

Yes, I know of the “philosophy” of the top cop that making arrests makes things worse.

When you surrender the streets to the rabble, how can it get much worse?

23 thoughts on “Looting: City sends message of weakness”

  1. The next complain will be there aren’t any stores in our areas. It happened with supermarkets and now will happen to all retail stores. The insurance companies won’t cover the losses or the will drastically raise the premiums. The poverty is bad enough in this City and the powers to be are continuing to lose jobs. What is intriguing is that the social worker at the 911 center was off. What did Kenney and City Council hire just one. If they had one at the District the way the situation evolved there probably been one dead social worker and the cops would have shot. You right about the judges. Between them and the DAs office there should been mandated mental therapy. If the would have done their jobs we might not be writing about this situation.

    1. Thanks for making the point about insurance. Some shrug off the looting saying, “They ate insured.”
      Well, maybe. Some are not and those who are find their rates increased, or policies cancelled

  2. I remember a contest to come up with a motto for Philadelphia. One of the funnier ones was: “PHILADELPHIA: NOT AS BAD AS YOU MAY HAVE HEARD.” I think a variation on that motto should be: ‘PHILADELPHIA: WORSE THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE.” What a city. What a government. And on November 3rd the same idiots will be re-elected by the same idiots who elected them in the first place.

      1. If Elliot Curson’s agency had merged with Lew Schwerin’s agency, they’d have been Curson and Schwerin. A perfect name for a Philly ad agency. (Thank you Jack Hobbs.)

  3. Dear Stu,
    I agree with everything you wrote. Rizzo would never have allowed this destruction to happen. I just came from our
    CVS in South Philly, it’s boarded up to prevent looting. Where is the Gutless Mayor, worthless Police Commissioner,
    and leaders in our city. I’m sorry that Walter Wallace was killed, but the brave Police were called to his home 3 times
    that day for Domestic Disturbance. His family says he has mental issues. WHY does he have 9 children and he’s only
    27. He just married his wife so who do the other children belong to????? We taxpayers have to be prisoners in our
    homes because of these who break the laws and are always resisting arrest. Kamala Harris said we have to get
    used to this?? Philadelphia needs the National Guard.

  4. What’s even more disgusting is Outlaw never mentioned the officer that was hit by the pickup truck, only about the family of the shooting ‘victim’. She hid under her desk just like the mayor and D.A. did.

    The looting was no surprise, they knew it would happen yet they didn’t as for the National Guard to be deployed until after all the mayhem occurred.

    Send Outlaw back where she came from and promote from within the Philadelphia Police ranks. Why do we need an outsider who knows nothing about the city?

  5. Philadelphia, PA

    Dear Stu,

    Some very shameful evenings. I watched a slew of videos of the looting and riot online. Stores were hit by looters throughout the city. I see a further decline of the city. I wonder if there was a request for the National Guard from the Mayor or if the order came from the Governor?

    Is it true that Wallace was shot something like 10 times? I saw a report that each of the two officers fired 7 times. No doubt, it was a dangerous situation for the police.

    H.G. Callaway

    1. I believe mayor requests gov for NG. Or accepts offer. I don’t know who made the call.
      News reports are differing on shots fired, 10 seems good, with no report of how many struck Wallace.

  6. Thank you for seeing the truth about Philadelphia the mayor & D.A. Living & raising a family here is torture being that we raise our children to be respectful & when they are out with other friends they are robbed of cell phones, money, & bikes they’re targets for teenage thugs invading a used to be quiet neighborhood. Should we have to live like this behavior is expected & accept this NO but how do we stop this? A NE philly resident 🇺🇸

    1. Raise hell with the cops through your local civic association and also with your Council person. Demand action or swear to campaign for his or her opponent.

  7. I completely agree with you Stu. This city has no law and order. Kenny, Outlaw and Krasner are worthless. All of them hide behind closed doors and let rioters and looters do as they please. No one wants to take any responsibility. I wish I could move out of this city, not the city I was born into. It is so sad what has happened to our city. Time to wake the people up!

  8. Why anyone would become a Police Officer today escapes me. If you so much as touch a thug your prosecuted and fired without due process. If we continue the current tree hugger attitude toward crime, democracy will end in America. Law and order is the means of controlling some humans and allowing law abiding citizens safety. Wish Rizzo was still around.

  9. I moved from Philly in 2014 to Dallas yeah I know! Go birds! I can’t believe what’s goin on there it’s rather upsetting to see and hear what’s goin on! But what’s even sadder is that our Mayer and police Commissioner aren’t doin a damn thing to control this! We can never Get Rizzo back but I’m sure that somewhere someone like him that would have put a stop to all this! My prayers go out to the city and the people there! It’s sounds like it’s time for a change or this will continue to happen time and time again! What would happen if whites started rioting everytime a white person was killed by a cop

  10. I totally agree with what you have written. I am very disgusted. I don’t understand Mayor Kenney’s lack of a position on this issue or his mindset. He looks weak. My heart goes out to local businesses who have to put up with this criminal activity in addition to the covid issues they have been dealing with for months, especially the mom and pop stores. Now they get to deal with their insurance companies to cover their losses.

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