20 arrested after looting, rioting in Philadelphia after charges dismissed against officer who shot suspect: Police

"What we had tonight was a bunch of criminal opportunists take advantage of a situation to make an attempt to destroy our city."

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Hannah Nightingale Washington DC
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At least 20 people have been arrested after a massive looting spree overtook Philadelphia’s Center City on Tuesday night.

Interim Police Commissioner John Stanford said the looting began around 8 pm, when police began responding to several reports of looting, according to Fox 29.

Stanford said police are investigating the possibility that there was a "caravan" of vehicles involved in the looting, traveling from location to location. Some of those believed to be involved in the caravan have been arrested.

The crowd of looters in Center City grew as large as 100 people, many of which were juveniles, Stanford said, adding that at least two firearms were recovered during the arrests.

Portions of Chestnut and Walnut streets were locked down overnight to "ensure the safety of both the public and property."

In response to protests held earlier in the evening in response to a judge dismissing charges against former police officer Mark Dial in the shooting death of Eddie Irizarry, Stanford said, "this had nothing to do with the protests."

"What we had tonight was a bunch of criminal opportunists take advantage of a situation to make an attempt to destroy our city."

Police body camera footage shown at the hearing revealed Irizarry holding a knife as police approached his vehicle during the traffic stop after he had been pulled over for erratic driving following a pursuit.

According to NBC 10, a Footlocker, Apple, and Lululemon store were looted, however, police are still determining how many businesses were affected.

Looters stole phones and tablets from the Apple store, though police said that numerous items have been recovered.

The looting reportedly spread outside of the Center City area, according to ABC 6, with police responding to a Rite Aid at 53rd and Baltimore Avenue, as well as several stores along 52nd Street. JD Sports in Roosevelt Mall was hit, as well as a T-Mobile down the street.

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