PHILADELPHIA, Penn. — Pennsylvania has become a battleground state in more ways than one this week after riots rocked the City of Brotherly Love for two nights after police shot Walter Wallace, a Black man, after he refused to drop a knife he was holding.
After Monday's shooting, West Philadelphia was the first to experience protests that turned into rioting and looting. As I walked by the Foot Locker that was ransacked on Tuesday, an older man was discouraging the local youth from taking the shoes that were left behind.
With the election less than a week away and the state of Pennsylvania being a must-win state for both President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, the rioting comes at an inconvenient time for Democrats, who have been wishy-washy in responding to mass unrest. The riots and looting that have been plaguing the nation are often taking place in swing states.
The riots in Philadelphia are the latest to occur within Pennsylvania, following those over the summer. In September, the city of Lancaster was hit hard by riots stemming from a justifiable police shooting. The only reason why the riots did not continue for multiple days is because local leadership took steps to quell the unrest, such as arresting and charging violent people and setting bail at $1,000,000, forcing Antifa and the black bloc to think twice before taking to the streets again.
Even in Minnesota, where the riots in Minneapolis sparked the whole summer of unrest, Trump's campaign is spending more time and money as they view the Democrats' response to the death of George Floyd, defunding the police, as a game-changer to potentially flip the state to red on Election Day.
The Wisconsin cities of Kenosha and Wauwatosa experienced riots in response to police-involved shootings. They proved destructive mayhem can happen anywhere at any time, and voters know who would be better at addressing such problems.
Tuesday night saw mass looting and rioting in different parts of Philadelphia. In northern Philadelphia, looters ransacked the strip malls, with Philadelphia police trying to keep up with the number of crimes being committed.
Looters would arrive in cars and hit multiple stores, leaving as fast as they could when police arrived. When the police would leave a store, the looters would come back and resume the looting.
This Walmart in Philadelphia was looted earlier in the night but police came and secured the store for a little bit. Since then, police have left and looters are back in the Walmart. pic.twitter.com/rdOElhgHsp— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) October 28, 2020
The inside of a looted Rite Aid in Philadelphia. pic.twitter.com/LNgAVMi5EF— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) October 28, 2020
If Trump wins states like Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, look no further than the riots that have torn through much of their cities and towns as a motivator to give him another term in office.