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Trump on Philly riots: Bring in the National Guard

"You can't have chaos like that" – President Trump

Updated: October 28, 2020 - 5:51pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

President Trump called on Democrats in Philadelphia to crack down on rioting and looting in the city, saying they should bring in the National Guard to restore order.

The city erupted on Monday after police shot a man they say refused to drop a knife. Rioting and looting happened again on Tuesday night, with nearly a dozen people shot, including a 15 year old, who died.Trump, speaking to reporters, also called the police shooting a "terrible event."

“The mayor or whoever it is that's allowing people to riot and loot and not stop them is also just a horrible thing,” Trump said. “I saw the event. Everybody did, it was on television. It was a terrible event. I guess that's being looked at very strongly. We have the federal government looking at it also. But the rioting in Philadelphia has to stop. They have to stop it.” 

“They should bring in the National Guard if the police need help and they should do something. You can't let that go again. A Democrat-run state, a Democrat-run city,” Trump continued. He said that Republican-run regions didn’t have such issues.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, has ordered National Guardsmen to Philadelphia and they will be in place on Wednesday night.

Trump also blasted Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, saying he supports groups that are turning protests into riots and looting.

“This is a group that he supports. He doesn't want to condemn them," Trump said of the rioters. "I saw that he doesn't want to condemn them. You have to condemn, you have to be strong. You can't have chaos like that. And he'll be very, very weak."

Trump added: "The problem is Joe's all talk and no action. You got to have some action.”

Biden said: “I think to be able to protest is totally legitimate, totally reasonable. But there’s no excuse for the looting.” 

Police say Walter Wallace, Jr., 27, was armed with a knife as he charged two officers, neither of whom had nonlethal deterrents such as mace or tasers. A relative told Fox News that Wallace "had struggled with mental health issues and was bipolar. He was previously ordered by a judge to undergo psychiatric evaluation treatment."

The head of Philadelphia’s police union said Wednesday that officers had “no choice," saying  Wallace “was a problem in the community” and forced the officers’ hands when he refused to drop the knife.

“It’s unfortunate, but I mean our officers, you know, they did what they were trained to do and also want to go home at night,” John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, said on WPHT Talk Radio 1210, The New York Post reported.

“He ignored numerous commands, numerous orders to drop the knife and then he lunged at them,” he said. “I mean, he left the officers with no choice. They don’t look to hurt anybody, but they also want to go home safe at night while protecting the community.”

“I don’t condone no violence tearing up the city, looting of the stores,” he told reporters, Walter Wallace Sr. said, according to the local Fox affiliate. “I would feel like everybody having respect for my family and my son to stop this violence and chaos that’s going on in this city with people that have businesses.”

He also pleaded for people to stop the violence "to help my son and help my family.”

“All I’m sending out is an SOS, to help, not to hurt and cause no chaos, violence, looting, firing,” Wallace Sr. said. “I wasn’t brought up like this and I worked 33 years with the city, with the street department picking up trash to try to keep this city clean.”

 

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