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May 31, 2020

Commissioner Outlaw: Saturday's violence, looting were disrespectful to criminal justice reform movement

Philadelphia now under curfew until 6 a.m. on Monday

Protests George Floyd
Philly George Floyd protests Natalie Hope McDonald/For PhillyVoice

Brooks Brothers' store on Walnut Street was one of several that experienced damage after Saturday's protests turned violent.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw called the destruction and violence in Center City on Saturday a "slap in the face" to the criminal justice reform championed by the peaceful demonstrations that had taken place earlier in the day.

While Outlaw did not have the statistics on hand during a briefing by Philadelphia officials on Sunday, she noted that "a large percentage" of the people arrested Saturday were not black, and the commissioner added, "It's the people that are coming from outside of the city to tear up our city and leave."

"... Those who caused harm here – whether it was physical harm, injuries, vandalism fires – those folk were not acting in alignment with the purpose of what those who were here earlier in the day were doing," Outlaw said. "They were here specifically with the intent to destroy and quite frankly those folks didn't look like me."

Outlaw is Philadelphia's first black female police commissioner. She was was hired earlier this year.

"To hold up a Black Lives Matter sign and then use the destruction that they were committing, in the name of Black Lives Matter is not only a slap in the face, but it's completely a setback for everything that's been accomplished by those who have been working to improve civil rights over the many decades and those who have been working internally to do our parts to fix criminal justice system."

As she did during a briefing Saturday night, the commissioner made the distinction between those who participated in Saturday morning's "kneel in" and the hundreds arrested for burglaries, vandalism and assaulting police officers Saturday night.

"... Those who were peacefully demonstrating earlier came from all walks of life, all racial backgrounds, all ethnicities, to come together in unity for one cause," she said.

Outlaw also describe the "love and affection" she witnessed Sunday morning by the residents and businesses owners who were out Sunday morning cleaning up along Walnut and Chestnut streets in Center City.

"We encourage peaceful demonstration," the police commissioner said. "We encourage lawful assembly, but anything beyond that will not be tolerated."

Philadelphia was among a number of U.S. cities where there were peaceful demonstrations followed by violence and destruction. All of these events come in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in the custody of Minneapolis police on Monday.

Looting spreads to Overbrook

Looters were spotted on Sunday evening in the Overbrook neighborhood of Philly.

Police investigating quadruple shooting in Kensington

Philly police are investigating a quadruple shooting in Kensington on Sunday that left four people wounded, according to FOX29

The shooting, which took place on the 700 block of East Clearfield Street at about 5 p.m. on Sunday, left a 12-year-old boy, a 26-year-old and 52-year-old man, and a 21-year-old woman wounded, according to police.

No arrests have been made yet, and it's unclear at the moment if it is connected to the ongoing looting and violence across Philadelphia.

Looting across Upper Darby forces town to enact 8 p.m. curfew

Upper Darby has enacted a curfew that will take effect at 8 p.m. on Sunday and last until 6 a.m. on Monday after looting occurred across the town on Sunday. 

Only those with essential duties, such as going to/from a job or to seek out medical attention, can leave their homes during the curfew.

All city offices except for public safety to be closed on Monday, Kenney says

All city offices outside of public safety will be closed on Monday to give first responders full access to the city after looting and violence continued on Sunday, Mayor Kenney said Sunday evening. The city will also not have its daily COVID-19 briefing on Monday, and he once again urged all Philly residents to stay at home. 

An additional 23 arrests were made on Sunday afternoon, 10 of which were for looting and 13 for failing to disperse, Philly Police said Sunday evening.

The looting and violence that was taking place in West Philly on Sunday had led to five injured police officers and four burned police cars. Several cops were hit with bricks and molotov cocktails thrown by looters, and police confirmed that teargas was sprayed to disperse the crowd. The situation that erupted at 52nd and Market streets is still active, city officials said.

City officials said that the looting situation that occurred in Kensington and Port Richmond earlier on Sunday afternoon had settled down. Additionally, the National Guard is expected to arrive in Philadelphia on Sunday evening as the situation in Center City had remained calm throughout the day, city officials said.

The city also said that it intends to use news camera footage of individuals looting and instigating violence across Philadelphia as part of its investigation.

Looting taking place at Target location at City Ave.

The Target store located on City Ave. in the neighborhood of Wynnefield Heights was seen being looted on early Sunday evening.

SEPTA suspends all service due to violence, looting in Philadelphia

All SEPTA bus routes and trolleys, as well as the Market-Frankford, Broad Street, and Norristown High Speed lines, have been suspended until further notice due to the situation in Philadelphia.

The suspension—which also applies to all Regional Rail service—goes into effect at 6:00 p.m. when the city curfew begins and will last until at least 6 a.m. on Monday when the curfew is lifted.

Peaceful protest held outside Philly Police headquarters

Demonstrators gathered for a peaceful protest on Sunday afternoon outside of the Philadelphia Police headquarters on the corner of Race and 7th streets.

Police cars vandalized, looting occurs in West Philly

Police cars were vandalized, set on fire, and had their windows smashed in West Philly on Sunday afternoon. Looting was also seen taking place in the area as well.

Temple warns residents to stay indoors as gathering forms near school's campus

Temple University issued an alert warning residents to remain at home as a large group of people formed near campus.

Peaceful protest held at City Hall

Demonstrators gathered for a second straight day at City Hall and called for justice for George Floyd. The event, which was called the Peace Rally for George Floyd, took place on the south side of City Hall near the Octavius Catto statue.

Philadelphia George Floyd protestsNatalie Hope McDonald/For PhillyVoice

Philadelphia George Floyd protestsNatalie Hope McDonald/For PhillyVoice

Philadelphia George Floyd protestsNatalie Hope McDonald/For PhillyVoice

Philadelphia George Floyd protestsNatalie Hope McDonald/For PhillyVoice

Philadelphia George Floyd protestsNatalie Hope McDonald/For PhillyVoice

Former Philadelphia Eagles' safety Malcolm Jenkins was among those who protested outside of City Hall on Sunday.

Looting continues in Center City on Sunday morning, Kensington and Port Richmond on Sunday afternoon

Looting continued across Philadelphia and even spread outside of Center City on Sunday after Saturday's protests turned violent. Looters were spotted through Center City on Sunday morning.

Looting was also spotted in both Kensington and Port Richmond on Sunday afternoon.

President Trump calls for "Law & Order" in Philadelphia on Twitter

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Sunday afternoon to call for "Law & Order" in Philadelphia after stores were looted in Center City on Saturday. He also urged that the city call in the National Guard to take control of the situation.

SEPTA, PATCO service limited due to Center City destruction

Service on both SEPTA and PATCO lines will be limited due to the violence and destruction that broke out in Center City. 

Service along the Market-Frankford Line is suspended in both directions, and the Broad Street Line is bypassing Fairmount, Spring Garden, Race-Vine, Walnut-Locust, and Lombard-South stations in both directions. Both service interruptions are in place until further notice.

Meanwhile, PATCO said that it is only running trains in New Jersey, and that service to and from Philadelphia will not resume until 6 a.m. on Monday.

Citywide curfew moved up to 6 p.m. on Sunday instead of 8 p.m.

Mayor Kenney's curfew has been moved up to begin at 6 p.m. on Sunday evening and will last until 6 a.m. Monday morning. Only those with essential duties are permitted to leave home during the curfew hours.

All retail businesses order to close immediately

All retail businesses have been ordered by the city to close immediately in order to help enforce the 8 p.m. curfew on Sunday. Any business owners or residents who have been helping clean up Center City must finish up and be home by 5 p.m., the city said.

Wolf urges protesters to remain peaceful; Montgomery County requests support from the state

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf called upon Pennsylvanians who are protesting on Sunday to remain peaceful in their calls for justice over the death of George Floyd. 

"As you exercise your rights today, do it in a way that honors democracy," Wolf said. "Speak your mind, and speak it with peace."

"I urge everyone to be peaceful," Wolf continued. "I urge everyone to have respect for our communities and our neighbors. And I urge all of us to continue to call out injustice." 

State officials said on Sunday that Montgomery County has also requested support from the state after looting took place at the King of Prussia Mall on Saturday. Upper Merion has also instituted a curfew for 8:00 p.m. on Sunday until 6 a.m. on Monday and issued a "township emergency" declaration. 

Access to Center City restricted

Philadelphia officials are restricting access to Center City after peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd turned destructive Saturday night. 

Center City is being blocked off from South Street to Vine Street, with highway exits and entrances also being shuttered, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw announced Sunday afternoon. The restrictions, which extend from the Delaware River to the Schuylkill River, are in place until further notice.

SEPTA bus access will also be limited, and only residents and business operators will be permitted into Center City.

The Ben Franklin Bridge is also closed until further notice due to police activity, the Delaware River Port Authority said Sunday.

Philadelphia George Floyd protestsNatalie Hope McDonald/For PhillyVoice

Kenney extends city curfew to Sunday

Mayor Jim Kenney extended a citywide curfew to again take effect at 8 p.m. and last until 6 a.m. Monday. Only people with essential duties are permitted to leave home during the curfew hours, Outlaw said.

The Pennsylvania National Guard also is being deployed to support local police and secure critical points of infrastructure across Center City, Outlaw said. Gov. Tom Wolf signed a disaster declaration emergency late Saturday night, pledging to provide assistance to municipalities across the Pennsylvania. 

Frank Rizzo statue to be removed soon by the city, Kenney says

Kenney said that the controversial statue of former Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo at the Municipal Services Building, which protestors attempted to remove on Saturday, will be removed soon by the city.

"First of all, I've never liked the statue," Kenney said. "I didn't put it there. We had originally intended to remove it when the work in Dilworth Plaza started. We would have saved a decent sum of money, a couple hundred thousand dollars."

"The way it's engineered, it's bolted into the stairs and under the stairs is the concourse where people get their permits and pay their taxes," Kenney continued. "We didn't want to tear that up until we did the entire place. We're going to move it, hopefully in about another month or so. We're going to accelerate the removal."

Philadelphia George Floyd protestsNatalie Hope McDonald/For PhillyVoice

More than 200 individuals arrested since Saturday night

Philadelphia Police have made 207 arrests since Saturday night, including 48 for burglary or looting, and 138 for violating the curfew. Three people were arrested for assaulting police, three for firearms violations and four for theft. Another 11 people were arrested for failing to disperse. 

But Outlaw indicated that many of the people arrested were not city residents, suggesting outsiders were responsible for much of the destruction witnessed in Center City. 

Eleven police officers were treated and released from hospitals after suffering injuries during the demonstrations. One officer, who was struck by a vehicle, remains hospitalized. Another officer sustained an injury that did not require a hospital visit. Outlaw said that the city is still working to confirm the number of civilians that have been injured.

Residents, business owners take to the streets to clean up Center City after Saturday's violence, looting

After businesses were looted and destroyed across Center City on Saturday night, many residents and business owners took to the streets to help clean up the mess. 

Philadelphia George Floyd protestsNatalie Hope McDonald/For PhillyVoice

Philadelphia George Floyd protestsNatalie Hope McDonald/For PhillyVoice

Philadelphia George Floyd protestsNatalie Hope McDonald/For PhillyVoice

Philadelphia George Floyd protestsNatalie Hope McDonald/For PhillyVoice

Kenney applauded those who turned out to help, saying that it "gave me hope." 

Additional peaceful protests scheduled to take place on Sunday

Two more peaceful protests seeking justice for George Floyd are scheduled to take place in Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon. 

The Peace Rally for George Floyd will take place at 1 p.m. on the south side of City Hall near the Octavius Catto statue, while a second demonstration is expected to be held at 4 p.m. on the corner of 7th and Race streets outside of the Philadelphia Police headquarters.

PhillyVoice staff John Kopp and Jon Tuleya contributed to this article. This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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