As looters and rioters ransacked the city of Philadelphia again Tuesday night in response to the deadly police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr., the city police's response was reportedly obstructed by their own deputy commissioner.
WTXF-TV reporter Steve Keeley tweeted Wednesday morning that police officers were "extremely frustrated" after Deputy Police Commissioner Melvin Singleton allegedly ordered both patrol and commanding officers to "not arrest looters just disperse them."
"By the order of CAR-2, Philadelphia Police will respond to 'priority' calls only," the alleged directive from the department obtained by Keeley said. "This means no calls for disturbance, missing person, stolen vehicle, burglary or theft will be answered."
Keeley added that some officers believe the order "leaves no deterrent to stop looting."
It was not immediately clear if and when the order became effective, as police made at least 90 arrests, most for burglary, during Monday's riots. However, Keeley's tweet seems to indicate that the order was given heading into Tuesday night.
Yesterday when police announced the number of arrests in the Mon-Tues looting,charges were for “burglary”. And in… https://t.co/EIkUUGP7Lv— Steve Keeley (@Steve Keeley)1603890736.0
Rioters first took to the streets Monday night after video of 27-year-old Wallace's death went viral on social media. In the video, Wallace appeared to be walking toward police as they yell at him and eventually open fire. The officers said that Wallace was carrying a knife and refused to drop it as he approached them.
Philadelphia police reported that on Monday night alone at least 30 officers were injured amid the chaos and lawlessness. Videos on social media showed rioters and looters facing little resistance as they burnt property and ransacked shops.
BlazeTV's Elijah Schaffer recorded Black Lives Matter protesters chanting, "Every city, every town, burn the precincts to the ground!"
Schaffer was later attacked by a mob while recording looters inside a Philadelphia Five Below store, resulting in a bloody mouth and swollen lip.
Schaffer described the assault in a video posted on Twitter, in which he said he "was jumped by BLM rioters while they were looting more than a dozen stores, including Wal-Matt [sic], T-Mobile, & 5-below."
PHILADELPHIA: This is the footage I was recording when BLM assaulted me. Other journalists were filming but I was… https://t.co/Jz69QaFImN— ELIJAH SCHAFFER (@ELIJAH SCHAFFER)1603853272.0