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Rioters Set Church On Fire, Van Of Explosives Found Amid Attacks On Police Across U.S.

Communities across the country endured another night of rioting on Wednesday, during which countless officers were attacked and injured.

As residents in Philadelphia worked to clear debris after rioters set a church on fire, city and federal officers were busy intercepting a van loaded with explosives at Logan Circle in Center City.

Investigators found the abandoned van parked in the middle of the Ben Franklin Parkway at North 19th Street at approximately 10 p.m. on Oct. 28, WCAU reported.

The vehicle was allegedly filled with explosives, including sticks of dynamite, propane tanks, and torches, according to the PhillyVoice.

A witness reported that a man fled from the van prior to officers’ arrival, the PhillyVoice reported.

The Philadelphia Police Department’s bomb squad and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives are handling the ongoing investigation into the incident.

The owner of the van has not been identified, and no one has been arrested in connection with the vehicle.

Just before 11 p.m., South Philadelphia officers were dispatched to a report of a shooting near Ritner Street and Bouvier Street, WTXF reported.

They arrived to find a 33-year-old man inside a vehicle suffering from gunshot wounds to his shoulder and chest.

He was rushed to Jefferson University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, WTXF reported.

Approximately one hour after the shooting, officers were called to the 2900-block of Kensington Avenue for a report of a man who had been stabbed multiple times, according to the news outlet.

The victim, a man in his 30s, had been stabbed in both sides of his abdomen, police said.

He was rushed to Temple University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police have not announced any arrests in connection with either incident, WTXF reported.

Earlier in the day, workers were busy sifting through the wreckage of the Vietnam Baptist Church, which was burned down by rioters on Tuesday night, the church’s pastor told the Baptist Press.

Pastor Philip Pham said the building is a “total loss.”

“I have no idea why they attacked our church,” Pham told the Baptist Press. “They burned it from the roof. They threw flammable chemicals on the roof and [flames] burned through the roof.”

The fire burned down through the inside of the building as firefighters battled the blaze.

A video showing the charred remains of the church was posted to Twitter on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, DC Metro police erected a protective fence around the 4th District police headquarters building in preparation for the second consecutive night of rioting in the nation’s capital on Oct. 28, WUSA reported.

Protesters marched through the streets demanding “justice” for Karon Hylton, a 20-year-old man who died after crashing his moped when police tried to pull him over for riding on a sidewalk without a helmet late last week.

Critics have demanded that the officers who initiated the traffic stop be fired.

The mob marched to police headquarters, where they broke through the protective fencing and proceeded to pound on the doors until officers dressed in riot gear came outside, WUSA reported.

At least one DC Metro police officer was injured when a rioter launched a firework at a line of bicycle officers, cell phone footage showed.

The firework reportedly became caught between an officer’s legs just before it exploded, FOX News reported.

Rioters burst into cheers and applause as the officers swarmed around their injured colleague.

“That f—ked up a cop!” one rioter proclaimed.

“F—k you, pigs!” an elated woman chimed in.

Several officers suffered minor injuries in the attack, according to WNYW.

Multiple other MPD officers were injured during the overnight chaos, but the extent of their injuries has not been released, WUSA reported.

Police used flash bangs and chemical irritants to disperse the crowd.

Members of the group also smashed out the windows of at least one patrol vehicle during the night, according to WUSA.

It is unclear how many rioters were arrested during the mayhem.

The violence continued in Portland, where police have been dealing with attacks from Black Lives Matter and antifa rioters for over five months.

Dozens of rioters marched to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) building on Wednesday night, where officers used loudspeakers to warn them that they would be subject to force and arrest if they trespassed onto the property, KOIN reported.

As the situation escalated, Federal Protective Services (FPS) officers deployed stun grenades and tear gas in order to disperse the mob, according to KOIN.

It is unclear how many people were arrested during the chaos.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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