A unit of trained officers from Bucks County traveled to Philadelphia Saturday to support city officers. The Bucks County Major Incident Response Team mobilized as riots broke out and looters ravaged businesses.
In the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, protests gave way to looting and violence throughout the country. His alleged killer, former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, 44, faces murder charges.
What were peaceful protests in the morning in Philadelphia became increasingly violent into the evening. More than a dozen Philadelphia officers were injured trying to contain the situation.
In one instance, a 9th District Bike officer was injured trying to stop an SUV near 7th and Walnut, according to the Philadelphia Police Department. The vehicle’s occupants were involved in looting nearby business.
The driver ran over the officer, breaking their arm, and did not stop. The officer is in stable condition at Jefferson Hospital.
The Falls Township Police offered words of support on social media to their fellow Bucks officers responding to Philadelphia shortly before 8 p.m.
“Several of our MIRT officers are responding to Philadelphia to help their brothers and sisters in blue. We pray for their safety and the safety of the community they are sworn to protect and serve. Keep our officers &the other jurisdiction who are sending help in your thoughts.”
The Newtown Township Police Department describes the MIRT as “a specialized unit of highly trained officers who provide support to police departments tasked with responding to emergencies, especially large scale events, with personnel and logistical support.”
In 2016, the unit assisted with the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia and Villanova University NCAA Championship celebration. The year before they supported Philadelphia when Pope Francis visited during his trip through North America.