Philadelphia foregoes curfew for Halloween; urges residents to reduce travel

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Sunday, November 1, 2020
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City officials announced there would be no curfew implemented on October 31, but urged all residents to remain home unless travel was necessary.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- City officials announced there would be no curfew implemented on October 31, but urged all residents to remain home unless travel was necessary.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney went on Twitter and mentioned for those who do plan to Trick-or-Treat, to try and go earlier in the evening while following Philadelphia Public Health guidelines.

Up and down city streets, stores and restaurants are still boarded up as many of them cautiously are trying to do business after nearly a week of looting and destruction.

"We did it as a precaution. When we got hit, the first time we got the lightest of hits. It was just the window and the displays," said Larry Little, assistant manager of Benjamin Lovell Shoes.

The store on Chestnut Street was open and doing brisk business on Saturday afternoon. Staff members say they had their display windows broken earlier this year during the unrest following the death of George Floyd.

A citywide curfew went into effect at 9 p.m. Friday until Saturday 6 a.m. as Philadelphia braced for possible unrest following the shooting death of Walter Wallace Jr.

On Saturday, the Pennsylvania National Guard patrolled around City Hall while the area seemed noticeably quiet. Philadelphians we spoke with say they hope these tense times give way to brighter days for the city.

"There is no normal. There is no going back. It's just moving forward. And I hope in a positive way," said Doris Roberts of West Philadelphia.

Several businesses told Action News they'll probably keep their boards up through Election Day in anticipation of any potential unrest when results start coming in.

Members of the Pennsylvania National Guard arrived in Philadelphia Friday morning to protect vulnerable city buildings and help businesses hit hard by looters following nights of unrest.

It was not immediately clear how many members of the National Guard would be arriving in Philadelphia, but the city said the need for continued deployment would be decided on a day-to-day basis.

Police said Wallace, 27, was wielding a knife and ignored orders to drop the weapon before officers fired shots Monday afternoon in West Philadelphia. But, according to his parents, officers knew their son was in a mental health crisis because they had been to the family's house three times on Monday.

During a news conference Thursday, family attorney Shaka Johnson told reporters that the family is not calling for the police officers to be charged with murder.

WATCH: Walter Wallace Jr.'s family does not want Philadelphia officers to face murder charges, attorney says

"And here's why, here's why: they were improperly trained and did not have the proper equipment by which to effectuate their job," Johnson said.

The comments came after the family watched body camera footage of the moments leading up to Wallace's death, which Johnson said shows him in an "obvious mental health crisis."

RAW VIDEO: Video shows officers yelling 'put the knife down' before fatal shooting

The police bodycam video and 911 audio will be released on Wednesday, Nov. 4, according to a statement by city officials and the Wallace family.

During a news conference on Friday, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw discussed the pros and cons of releasing the footage.

"I think being open and transparent is important but we have to understand the outcome can go in any direction," she said.

At least 14 shots were fired, police said, with at least seven from each officer.

"None of the 14 shots were necessary, but if you were going to shoot, the first shot incapacitated the man. There were 13 shots to follow, which is why he is no longer with us," said Johnson.

Neither officer was equipped with a Taser.

RAW VIDEO: Philadelphia officer dragged by vehicle after looters ransack furniture store

Since Monday, there have been a total of 214 arrests, police said.

Fifty-seven officers have been injured since the unrest. One officer remains hospitalized at this time.