President Donald Trump on Wednesday condemned local Democrat officials for failing to stop rioting and looting in Philadelphia the previous evening in reaction to a police shooting of a black man.
“It’s a terrible thing. What I’m witnessing is terrible and frankly, that the mayor or whoever it is that’s allowing people to riot and loot and not stop them is just a horrible thing,” Trump said.
The president spoke to reporters at a press conference at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Wednesday.
“The rioting, they have to stop it,” Trump said.
He blamed Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D) for failing to provide law and order in the city.
“You can’t let that go on, again, a Democrat-run state and a Democrat-run city,” he said.
A directive from the Philadelphia police executive team, leaked to a local news station, revealed that police officers were ordered not to arrest looters.
Breaking: OBTAINED BY FOX29 NEWS. Directive from @PhillyPolice executive team. Extremely frustrated officers, both patrol&commanders told me overnight they were”ordered to NOT arrest looters just disperse them”. ‘CAR-2’ is Deputy Police Commissioner Melvin Singleton @FOX29philly pic.twitter.com/HVjryECnrv
— Steve Keeley (@KeeleyFox29) October 28, 2020
“I know the police very well in Philadelphia,” Trump said, and added, “They were told, I understand, to stand back, don’t do anything, and people are breaking into stores and walking out with washing machines and walking out with all sorts of things.”
A local news report posted on social media showed someone leaving a store with a washing machine.
— SV News 🚨 (@SVNewsAlerts) October 28, 2020
“You got to have law and order; you’ve got to have respect for our police,” Trump said.
The rioting began Monday after two Philadelphia police officers shot and killed 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr. on Monday. Wallace reportedly approached the officers holding a knife and ignored repeated orders to drop the weapon.
Trump said that the federal government was “looking into” the police shooting.
But he urged local officials to act quickly to stop the violence and request federal assistance.
“We’re watching it very closely and we’re waiting for a call. If they want help, we’re there; we’ll be in there within one hour,” he said.
Trump said that local officials had to request federal help for him to assist the city.
“You can’t let that happen. I went to school in that city,” Trump said. “I love the city of Philadelphia.”