Protests, looting rage on for a third day in Philadelphia

Protests, looting rage on for a third day in Philadelphia protests looting rage on for a third day in philadelphia
Protests, looting rage on for a third day in Philadelphia protests looting rage on for a third day in philadelphia

UPDATED: 5:04 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Protesters swarmed City Hall for a third day — this time, with the National Guard on-site.

Related: Live coverage of Floyd protests in Center City

Protesters took a knee for George Floyd, the black Minneapolis man whose death during an arrest sparked national outrage and civil unrest. They begged police officers at City Hall to do the same.

By rush hour, thousands of people flooded the Vine Street Expressway, heading east. A sea of young people ran up and down the ramps, while backlogged cars honked at standstill.

City response 

Amid the outrage, Mayor Jim Kenney provided a brief update Monday on the chaos from the weekend

“I am frankly extremely disappointed by the number of people who ignored the curfew, especially minors,” he said. “This curfew is not just imposed to protect property and businesses, it’s imposed to protect our residents.”

He issued a plea similar to his ongoing coronavirus decree: “You can do your part by staying home and making sure your family members stay home. Parents: Please do your part by making sure your children — especially teens and preteens — stay home.”

All this, meanwhile, occurring during the coronavirus pandemic and the Pennsylvania primary election on Tuesday. Kenney asked for an extension for the deadline for mail-in ballots.

He added that poll workers will be provided with PPE, and in-person voters will receive gloves.

“With our residents under curfew tonight and potentially tomorrow, these actions are appropriate and much-needed,” he said.

Kenney again enacted a citywide curfew, starting 6 p.m. Monday through 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said incidents of looting, vandalism and arson were rampant over the weekend, echoing the mayor: “These criminal acts are completely disconnected from any noble cause.”

In total, police and fire crews responded to 378 fires — 14 of which were arson — 246 commercial burglaries, four acts of graffiti, and 154 acts of vandalism.

So far, 429 arrests have been made. That number is expected to grow.

Eighteen officers were injured — two are still hospitalized. 

Police also responded to 21 shooting victims.

On a regular day, the city would average about 3,000 calls to 911. On one day over the weekend, they received 18,000 calls.

“What you’re seeing across the country right now is unlike any of us have seen,” said Outlaw. “We have been sitting on a powder keg for quite some time, and it has burst. You layer that with a level of the anger that’s been pent up. And then you add technology.”

She said the way police have been managing crowds over the years will have to change, as protesters have developed “countertactics” and “they’re very smart in how they do this. This is very coordinated.” 

Gov. Tom Wolf also met with Kenney and the Philadelphia Police Department, where they discussed “how we can support the black community during this difficult time.”

While the governor has been helpful, Kenney condemned President Donald Trump, who he said has done nothing for Philadelphia amid the chaos.

“The president should know a mess when he sees it because he is a mess,” the mayor said. “He’s brought no help, nothing. All he knows how to do is tweet and create division. It’s enough.”

In a call with governors Monday, Trump called Philadelphia weak for failing to enforce law and order over the weekend.

Protests continue on

Dozens of Black Lives Matter protesters hit the streets again Monday. This civil demonstration started at Broad and Spring Garden streets, where about 75 people took a knee in the middle of the intersection.

A few protesters got in the faces of police officers, though they did not flinch or respond.

The crowd then headed north on Broad Street, chanting “Black Lives Matter” and “no justice, no peace.”

Those same officers followed behind on bikes to make sure things don’t get out of hand — which they didn’t. There was no looting or violence during this protest.

Some pedestrians joined in on the chants as protesters marched by. Others said “thank you” to some officers.

Down at City Hall, protesters and officers engaged in civil discussions — separated by metal barricades.

South Philadelphia saw a different crowd. People were seen looting stores located along Columbus Boulevard, like Old Navy and Famous Footwears.

Some residents created a barricade in front of the South Philly Target, hoping to prevent looters from rampaging the store.

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KYW Newsradio’s Rachel Kurland, Kristen Johanson, Pat Loeb, Justin Udo and Andrew Kramer contributed to this report.

This is an ongoing story. Stay with KYW Newsradio for the latest.

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