Protests, un­rest over Black man’s killing by cops

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - NATION - By Clau­dia Lauer Clau­dia Lauer is an As­so­ci­ated Press writer.

PHILADEL­PHIA — Tense Philadel­phia braced for more demon­stra­tions Wed­nes­day over the po­lice killing of a Black man fol­low­ing two nights of protests that set off clashes with po­lice and breakins of stores on the other side of the city.

The death of Wal­ter Wal­lace Jr., who was fa­tally shot by po­lice Mon­day af­ter au­thor­i­ties say he ig­nored or­ders to drop a knife, came amid al­ready height­ened ten­sions in the bat­tle­ground state just days be­fore the elec­tion. City of­fi­cials an­nounced Wed­nes­day they would en­act a cur­few in the city from 9 p. m. un­til 6 a. m.

About 500 peo­ple gath­ered in a West Philadel­phia park Tues­day evening, march­ing to the nearby po­lice head­quar­ters where of­fi­cers were sta­tioned with riot shields. Some of the demon­stra­tors threw de­bris at of­fi­cers, ac­cord­ing to po­lice, and the two sides later clashed.

Po­lice said two of­fi­cers were in­jured, although au­thor­i­ties did not dis­close the ex­tent of their in­juries.

Some busi­ness own­ers were clean­ing up dam­age and board­ing up win­dows and doors Wed­nes­day af­ter video showed peo­ple stream­ing into stores and steal­ing goods on the op­po­site side of the city from where Wal­lace was shot. The Na­tional Guard is slated to ar­rive in the next few days to fo­cus on guard­ing in­fra­struc­ture, state and city of­fi­cials said.

The clashes come as Penn­syl­va­nia emerges as a key fo­cus of the con­tentious 2020 elec­tion, with Pres­i­dent Trump and for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den, a na­tive son, locked in a bat­tle for the state’s 20 elec­toral votes. Both can­di­dates have made fre­quent cam­paign stops in the state.

Mayor Jim Ken­ney, a Demo­crat, said Tues­day the city had been through “a very dif­fi­cult time,” but said van­dal­ism was not the an­swer.

“There were a lot of peace­ful pro­test­ers out there last night,” Ken­ney said at a news con­fer­ence on Wal­lace’s death. How­ever, he said, vi­o­lence “is not an ac­cept­able form of First Amend­ment ex­pres­sion.”

At a Las Ve­gas cam­paign event, Trump said: “You can’t let that go on. Again, a Democra­trun state, a Democra­trun city, Philadel­phia.”

Speak­ing to re­porters in Wilm­ing­ton, Del., af­ter vot­ing on Wed­nes­day, Bi­den said that “there is no ex­cuse what­so­ever for the loot­ing and the vi­o­lence,” but he said protesting over­all is “to­tally le­git­i­mate.”

Po­lice said Wal­lace was wield­ing a knife and ig­nored or­ders to drop the weapon be­fore of­fi­cers fired shots. But his fam­ily’s lawyer said the fam­ily had called for an am­bu­lance to get him help with a men­tal health cri­sis.

Michael Perez / As­so­ci­ated Press

A woman cleans up de­bris at a Wal­mart dam­aged in protests over the death of Wal­ter Wal­lace Jr., killed by Philadel­phia po­lice af­ter au­thor­i­ties say he ig­nored or­ders to drop a knife.

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