All liquor stores in Philadelphia were closed on Wednesday after 18 stores were looted overnight, following peaceful protests against a judge’s decision to dismiss all charges against a former police officer involved in a fatal shooting. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board closed 49 retail wine and liquor stores, and no employees were injured during the incidents. The board will assess the damage and loss before reopening the stores. Police will increase resources on Wednesday night, and as of Wednesday afternoon, 52 people have been arrested in connection with the looting.
The looting occurred after peaceful protests ended in response to the dismissal of charges against a former police officer involved in a fatal shooting. Philadelphia’s interim police commissioner stated that the looters were opportunists and not directly connected to the protests. At least 30 of those arrested are facing burglary and theft charges, and there were reports of looting in various neighborhoods. Videos captured the chaos, including individuals ransacking an Apple store and police detaining people outside a clothing store. Police will review video footage to make additional arrests.
The closure of liquor stores in Philadelphia was a direct response to the looting that occurred overnight. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board made the decision to prioritize employee safety and assess the damage before reopening. Police have increased their presence to prevent further incidents, and dozens of arrests have already been made in connection with the looting. The looting was not connected to the peaceful protests against the dismissal of charges in a fatal shooting case. The city’s interim police commissioner described the looters as opportunists taking advantage of the situation. Authorities are reviewing video footage to identify additional suspects involved in the crimes. The incidents highlight ongoing challenges faced by retailers in dealing with store crimes that impact their businesses.