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Tony Perkins / Oct. 29, 2020

Philadelphia Mob Bricks Over the Justice System

Somewhere along the way, we lost the common notion that law and order benefit everyone in America.

On Monday night, over 30 police were injured amid rioting in Philadelphia. Rioters threw bricks, yanked at police barriers, torched police cars, and looted businesses. A truck intentionally plowed into a 56-year-old female sergeant, who remains hospitalized with a broken leg. The site of Independence Hall, and the birthplace of America’s republic, endured a second night of rioting and looting that turned even more violent as looters shot each other.

It started after city police shot and killed a black man who charged at them with a knife and did not respond to multiple instructions to put the weapon down. Tuesday night on Washington Watch, I interviewed Ken Blackwell, FRC’s Senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance, who was formerly the mayor of Cincinnati. He said the death of the man, Walter Wallace, “is being properly investigated with all due transparency.”

From my law enforcement background, I do know that officers tend to revert to their training in high-pressure situations. These officers did try to disengage before firing what appeared to me to be an excessive number of rounds. But I’ll wait and see what the investigation yields.

The mob hit the streets within hours, waiting for no investigation. And it seems they were less interested in justice — that was a mere pretext — than in violence. “There was no reason to loot and to destroy property in the name of seeking justice,” chided Blackwell. He said based on the videos millions have now seen, “it was not folks seeking justice. Most of those folks were seeking a pair of Nike’s.”

You’re probably having flashbacks to the summer, when protests all around the country turned into violent, late-night confrontations with police. It didn’t help that liberal city governments encouraged the violence, either explicitly or through failing to quash it early. Federal troops had to respond to ongoing violence in Portland and Washington, D.C. Minneapolis neighborhoods organized community watches after the city council voted to defund the police force. Seattle law enforcement surrendered city hall to the armed insurrectionists, who set up their own “autonomous zone.” Demoralized, the vast majority of Atlanta cops called in sick.

Well, the summer protests never really died away; the news media just got tired of covering them. Blackwell explained there are organizations using disinformation and what he called “designer chaos” to foment disruption. By their own admission, he said, their objective is “collapsing our civilization and our sense of community in our major cities.”

Somewhere along the way, we lost the common notion that law and order benefit everyone in America; they keep everyone safe. But now, said Blackwell, “the New York Times and their 1619 Project have basically said that America is systemically racist. And the only thing that will fix it is its complete collapse and starting all over again, which is just pure nonsense.”

The silver lining amid the fresh chaos is that it helps remind us about what’s at stake in this election. You may not like the president’s tweets or combative personal style. But the alternative is to grant political power to the ideology that is terrorizing our streets and wrecking our cities. The Left has made it clear they will violently impose their agenda and their beliefs, and no dissent will be tolerated. We’ve got to take a stand for truth, for justice, and for our American way of life.

This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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