Philadelphia curfew lifted after riot over police killing of black man

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Philadelphia’s curfew would not be upheld for a second night.

New York, United States:

The Philadelphia mayor said Thursday that a curfew he imposed the previous evening over rioting following the police murder of a black man would not be maintained for a second night.

Mayor Jim Kenney still urged residents to stay home except in an emergency.

“There won’t be a city-wide curfew tonight,” Kenney wrote on Twitter.

“However, we encourage residents to stay home unless travel is required.”

The curfew had gone into effect overnight in Pennsylvania’s largest city after rioting triggered by the fatal police shots of 27-year-old Walter Wallace on Monday, captured on a video posted on social media.

Thousands of people took to the streets, and looting and violence broke out. Fifty-seven officers were injured, one seriously, a police spokesman said.

210 people were arrested during the two days of the riot.

The city was quieter Wednesday night, AFP journalists reported, but some stores were still damaged or looted.

Police shot Wallace, who was carrying a knife, after refusing to drop the gun when his mother tried to hold him back.

A Wallace family lawyer, Shaka Johnson, said he was bipolar and the call to ambulance was for an ambulance.

Johnson also said police shot 14 times when only once could have dissipated the danger. Wallace’s father asked why officers didn’t use stun guns instead.

The two officers, whose names were not published, were suspended.

Police and prosecutors are investigating the murder, and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw has pledged transparency.

Kenney said Thursday he hoped to be making public footage soon of cameras worn by police officers to clarify the circumstances of the shooting.

Johnson was quoted by local media as saying that the footage, viewed by the family on Thursday, showed Wallace “in an obvious mental health crisis” and family members shouted “he is mental”.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer report, Johnson said one of the officers shouted “shoot him”.

Wallace’s death and subsequent demonstrations and riots sparked a political conflict between Republicans and Democrats days before the presidential election.

Pennsylvania is a key battlefield state in the race between President Donald Trump, who has focused on the riots to bolster his claims as a “law and order” candidate, and Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

In the United States, there has been waves of racist protests and riots since the May murder of African American George Floyd in Minnesota.

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