Updates: Protests in Philadelphia


SUNDAY MAY 31: Day Two of Protests

Mayor Jim Kenney signed an emergency executive order for a mandatory citywide curfew from 6 p.m. tonight through 6 a.m. Monday, the City of Philadelphia reported on Sunday afternoon

Only people with “essential duties” are permitted outside during the curfew, such as if they work at an essential business or if they are seeking medical help or police assistance, Kenney tweeted on Saturday night. The order comes after Kenney issued a similar curfew from 8 p.m. Saturday through 6 a.m. Sunday. 

In addition to the curfew, the City of Philadelphia has ordered streets to close from Vine Street to South Street and from the Schuylkill River to the Delaware River until further notice, the city tweeted on Sunday afternoon.

The curfews and closure came after Philadelphians gathered across the city to protest the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died on May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes.

Police brutality protests in Philadelphia
National protests against police brutality began in Minneapolis on May 26 and quickly rippled into other large cities, including Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York City, the New York Times reported

Philadelphians held a series of peaceful protests against police brutality beginning on May 30 at City Hall, where the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that approximately 150 protesters honored national victims of police brutality, particularly by kneeling in solidarity for Floyd’s death. The event’s organizers encouraged social distancing by having protesters stand six feet apart. Although police officers surrounded the event, they remained at a distance.

Members of the crowd then marched towards the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where Philadelphia’s Black Lives Matter group held a peaceful protest at 2 p.m. on the museum’s steps. By this point, the crowd of protesters had increased to approximately 3,000 people, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported

After these peaceful events ended, some protesters returned to Center City and committed acts of vandalism that spiraled into violence, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Throughout the late afternoon and evening, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Center City sustained a multitude of damages: crowds vandalized the statue of former Mayor Frank Rizzo in front of the Municipal Services Building, stores on Walnut and Chestnut Streets were burned and looted, four police vehicles were set on fire and more. 

The Philadelphia Police Department reported that 208 people were arrested from Saturday afternoon into Sunday morning. Of these arrests, 138 were for curfew violations, 48 were for looting or burglary, four were for theft, four were for assault on police, three were for firearm violations and 11 were for other civil violation notices. The Philadelphia Police Department reported that an additional eight people were arrested on Sunday afternoon for looting, burglary or other civil violation notices.

Philadelphians organized cleaning initiatives on Sunday morning, such as a “Bring a Broom” event, to restore damaged public spaces across Center City even as looting continued, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Religious leaders led prayers for national victims of police brutality on Sunday morning to address the emotional damage incurred throughout the protests, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported

Protests resumed on Sunday afternoon, with demonstrations taking place at City Hall and Philadelphia’s police headquarters. Police officers sprayed chemicals at protesters and looters in West Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Philadelphia businesses were ordered to immediately close on Sunday afternoon in order to enforce the city’s curfew, the City of Philadelphia tweeted

Gov. Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency placed 600 Pennsylvania National Guardsmen on active duty in Philadelphia to help maintain order, KYW News Radio reported.

Effect on Philadelphia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Saturday’s events ensued while Philadelphia county was still under the red phase of Governor Tom Wolf’s COVID-19 reopening plan. Red phase counties must uphold strict social distancing measures, with Philadelphia prohibiting large gatherings and implementing a stay-at-home order. The Wolf administration said that the protests may affect Philadelphia county’s ability to move out of the red phase as planned on June 5. 

All COVID-19 food distribution sites across the city will close Monday and reopen on June 2, the City of Philadelphia tweeted


MONDAY JUNE 1: Day Three of Protests

Mayor Jim Kenney extended the mandatory citywide curfew to resume from 6 p.m. tonight through 6 a.m. Tuesday, the City of Philadelphia tweeted on Monday afternoon

Only people with “essential duties” are permitted outside during the curfew, such as if they work at an essential business or if they are seeking medical help or police assistance, according to the tweet. Monday night’s curfew came after Kenney issued similar orders on May 30 and May 31. 

Kenney extended the curfew after Philadelphians resumed protesting against police brutality for the third consecutive day throughout the city.

Protest updates
Demonstrations resumed peacefully on Monday, with protesters marching north on Broad Street throughout the afternoon, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Although police officers surrounded them on bikes, the protesters encouraged one another to remain calm, a reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer tweeted. One protester was arrested at around 3:30 p.m. when the group began marching south after confronting a police barricade at the corner of Broad Street and Olney Avenue, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported

The Party for Socialism and Liberation – Philly hosted a speakout that began at 3 p.m. at 8th and Cherry Streets, near the Philadelphia Police Department Headquarters. Encouraging attendees to practice social distancing, the event was held to “demand justice for George Floyd and declare our solidarity with the rebellion against racist police violence in Minneapolis,” the organizers said on Facebook

More than 1,000 people who attended the speakout then marched down Market Street towards City Hall, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Some then marched onto I-676, where police fired gas and arrested at least 25 people, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.  

The Philadelphia Police Department reported that at least 429 people were arrested since noon on May 30. Of these arrests, 146 were for looting or burglary, seven were for assault on police, four were for theft, three were for firearm violations, one was for rioting, one was for propulsion of missile and 267 were for other civil violation notices (including curfew violations and failure to disburse). 

SEPTA announced that its subways, buses and trolleys suspended services in Center City this afternoon until further notice. The Market-Frankford Line will express from Frankford Transportation Center to Girard Station, then express from Girard Station to 30th Street Station and make all station stops between 30th Street and 69th Street Transportation Center, except at 63rd Street and Millbourne Stations, SEPTA tweeted. The Broad Street Line will express from Girard Station to Ellsworth-Federal Station in both directions and suspend Ridge Spur and Express services, SEPTA tweeted.

Gov. Tom Wolf extended the deadline for election offices in Philadelphia and five other counties to receive mail-in ballots to 5 p.m. on June 9. Under the new guidelines, mail-in ballots must be postmarked no later than June 2. The deadline for Philadelphians to hand-deliver absentee or mail-in ballots to election day drop-off offices remains 8 p.m. on June 2. 


TUESDAY JUNE 2: Day Four of Protests

Mayor Jim Kenney issued a mandatory citywide curfew from 8:30 p.m. tonight through 6 a.m. Wednesday, the City of Philadelphia tweeted on Tuesday morning

As the fourth consecutive curfew, the city chose to push tonight’s start time back in order to give Philadelphians time to return home from polling places for the Pennsylvania primary election, which is being held today from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

In addition to the curfew, city officials issued road closures from Vine to Walnut Streets and from the Schuylkill River to the Delaware River, the City of Philadelphia tweeted

The City of Philadelphia issued the curfew and road closures after Philadelphians resumed protesting against police brutality for the fourth consecutive day throughout the city.

Protest updates
Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke at City Hall on Tuesday morning to speak about the protests in Philadelphia, criticizing President Donald Trump for inciting racism as well as rioters and looters for causing “opportunistic violent destruction,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.  

Protesters demonstrated peacefully on Tuesday, with one group marching from the Philadelphia Museum of Art to City Hall and then kneeling in solidarity for George Floyd at Rittenhouse Square. There were no reported incidents or clashes even though police were placed at nearly every corner of the route, KYW News Radio reported. Some members of the crowd then began marching across Center City ultimately towards University City, until they reconvened at City Hall past the 8:30 p.m. curfew, KYW News Radio reported

Protesters and seven police officers took a knee in the middle of Frankford Avenue when the demonstrations moved into Fishtown on Tuesday evening, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. This moment of peace came after a group of approximately 70 vigilantes, most of whom were white men carrying bats, took to the streets of Fishtown past curfew on Monday night to protect police, WHYY reported

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said this afternoon that she did not condone the actions of the vigilantes or of the police officers who allegedly high-fived and took pictures with them, WHYY reported

A group of primarily Black Philadelphia officials called for the state and local government to reform the relationship and improve the accountability between law enforcement and the community, WHYY reported

The Philadelphia Police Department reported today that at least 703 people have been arrested since noon on May 30. Of these arrests, 192 were for looting or burglary, 11 were for assault on police, six were for theft, three were for firearm violations, one was for rioting, one was for propulsion of missile, one was for vandalism and 488 were for other civil violation notices (including curfew violations and failure to disburse). 

COVID-19 updates
As the protests continued on Tuesday, Temple University announced its plan to hold classes in-person and virtually for the Fall 2020 semester, WHIP Radio reported

The city reopened food distribution sites to support Philadelphians amid the COVID-19 pandemic after closing them yesterday, the City of Philadelphia tweeted this morning. The sites will be open from 10 a.m. to noon. However, all city health centers will be closed today, the City of Philadelphia tweeted


WEDNESDAY JUNE 3: Day Five of Protests

Temple University students peacefully demanded justice for George Floyd today by gathering at the corner of Broad Street and Cecil B. Moore Ave. at 2 p.m. and marching towards City Hall. 

In addition to mourning Floyd’s death, the protesters also demanded that the Temple Police and Philadelphia Police Department be defunded and that City Council vote down Kenney’s proposed $14 million police budget increase. They further called for the National Guard to immediately withdraw from Philadelphia.

Curfew update
The City of Philadelphia issued a mandatory citywide curfew from 6 p.m. tonight through 6 a.m. Thursday, the city tweeted on Wednesday afternoon

Only people with “essential duties” are permitted outside during the curfew, such as if they work at an essential business or if they are seeking medical help or police assistance, according to the tweet. 

The City of Philadelphia issued the curfew after Philadelphians resumed protesting against police brutality for the fifth consecutive day throughout the city.

Protest updates
Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes, faces an upgraded charge of second-degree murder, WHYY reported this afternoon. The additional three police officers involved in Floyd’s death now face charges of aiding and abetting.

Philadelphians gathered at City Hall this afternoon, where they laid on Broad Street and celebrated the upgraded charges, the Philadelphia Inquirer reporter

City officials removed the statue of former Mayor Frank Rizzo from its previous location in front of the Municipal Services Building early on Wednesday morning after it had been vandalized throughout the protests, WHYY reported. Mayor Jim Kenney originally planned to remove the statue earlier this month and tweeted this morning that it “represented bigotry, hatred, and oppression for too many people, for too long.” 

Although the city has addressed the statue, the Rizzo mural at Montrose and S. 9th Streets remains defaced, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Mural Arts Philadelphia announced today that it will immediately “cease all involvement” with the mural because it does not believe that Rizzo’s legacy is consistent with its mission, the organization tweeted this afternoon

Kenney also said this afternoon that he hopes the National Guard will no longer be needed in Philadelphia but they will remain in the city through at least the end of the day, WHYY reported

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw is investigating 50 ATM explosions that have occurred throughout the city since May 30, WHYY reported

The Philadelphia Police Department reported today that at least 716 people have been arrested since noon on May 30. Of these arrests, 201 were for looting or burglary, 12 were for assault on police, seven were for theft, three were for firearm violations, one was for rioting, one was for propulsion of missile, one was for vandalism and 490 were for other civil violation notices (including curfew violations and failure to disburse).


THURSDAY JUNE 4: Day Six of Protests

The City of Philadelphia issued a mandatory citywide curfew from 8 p.m. tonight through 6 a.m. Friday, the city tweeted this afternoon.

Only people with “essential duties” are permitted outside during the curfew, such as if they work at an essential business or if they are seeking medical help or police assistance, according to the tweet. 

The City of Philadelphia issued the curfew after Philadelphians resumed protesting against police brutality for the sixth consecutive day throughout the city.

Protest updates
Three protests are set to take place across Center City this afternoon, with the first group marching from the Philadelphia Museum of Art to City Hall at 2 p.m. with demands for Mayor Jim Kenney, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The second group, led by the Workers’ World Party, will gather at Love Park at 3 p.m. and march down JFK Boulevard, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The third group demonstration will involve a group of school administrators silently marching at 3:30 p.m. beginning at the Commonwealth Association of School Administrators’ offices, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported

Members of the National Guard were stationed in front of City Hall and the Municipal Services Building this morning despite Kenney saying yesterday morning that he would like for the soldiers to leave Philadelhpia, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. West Chester University announced last night that it is housing the troops for a week, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported

The mural of former Mayor Frank Rizzo at Montrose and S. 9th Streets will be repainted as a new mural, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.


FRIDAY JUNE 5: Day Seven of Protests

Philadelphia County’s stay-at-home order lifted today as it joined nine other counties in entering the “yellow” phase of Gov. Tom Wolf’s COVID-19 reopening plan, according to a press release on June 4

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health recommended that Philadelphians should avoid gatherings of any size during this phase despite state guidelines permitting meetings of less than 25 people, according to the release. 

Under the “yellow” phase guidelines, non-essential businesses are permitted to resume some in-person services. For example, restaurants are allowed to offer outdoor dining after June 12 and playgrounds will reopen for youth summer camps, according to the release. Weddings, celebrations, religious services and funerals with less than 25 attendees will be permitted (but not recommended) if the attendees practice social distancing, are provided with masks and wear those masks at all times except while eating or drinking. 

However, indoor recreation, health and wellness facilities, personal care services and entertainment services must remain closed. 

As protests over the death of George Floyd resumed for the seventh day in Center City, it remains unclear how these massive gatherings may affect the spread of COVID-19 in Philadelphia. Philadelphia officials recommend that anyone who attended a protest get tested for COVID-19 after seven days, WHYY reported

Curfew update
The City of Philadelphia issued a mandatory citywide curfew from 8 p.m. tonight through 6 a.m. Saturday, the city tweeted this afternoon

Only people with “essential duties” are permitted outside during the curfew, such as if they work at an essential business or if they are seeking medical help or police assistance, according to the tweet. 

The City of Philadelphia issued the curfew after Philadelphians resumed protesting against police brutality for the seventh consecutive day throughout the city. 

City updates
Philadelphia City Council members unveiled the “New Normal Budget Act” today, which calls for the city to spend $25 million to address racial inequalities in housing, food security, policing and other issues, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported

There are no details as of now about how this money would be spent. Based on how the amendment is currently written, the money will be added to the City Council’s current budget, who will then direct the money to specific city agencies at a later date, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.  

Mayor Jim Kenney announced that Philadelphia is creating a “large and diverse steering committee” to promote reconciliation between his administration and city residents, WHYY reported. The committee will include local leaders of civic and faith groups, community groups, young people and the LGBTQ community, WHYY reported

Protest updates
After being arrested at Monday’s protests, a Temple University student was released from custody on Wednesday when a video showed he was beaten by police officers, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported

Evan Gorski, a Temple engineering major, was arrested on allegations that he had pushed a police officer off a bicycle, causing the officer to break his hand, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. However, a video from the event appeared to show that Gorski attempted to separate a police officer and a protester but backed away when another officer raised his baton. The officer with the baton then struck Gorski on or near the head while a second officer used his knee to pin Gorski’s face to the street, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that wide range of protests are scheduled for today, including: 

  • 11 a.m.: demonstrators met at the Philadelphia Police Department headquarters at Race and 8th Streets for the fourth annual “Stop Killing Us” march, which will end in Washington D.C.
  • 12:30 p.m.: health care workers and medical students plan to kneel at the site of the former Hahnemann University Hospital and walk to Temple
  • 1 p.m.: Muslims in the city plan to gather for a group prayer on the south side of City Hall, with participants asked to practice social distancing and bring their own prayer rugs

SATURDAY JUNE 6: Day Eight of Protests

District Attorney Larry Krasner charged a high-ranking Philadelphia police officer with assault yesterday after he was filmed beating a Temple student with a baton at a protest on Monday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported

Staff Inspector Joseph Bologna Jr., who has been on the force for 31 years, will face counts of felony aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and possession of an instrument of crime (his police baton), the Philadelphia Inquirer reported

Bologna was removed from street duty and had his gun taken away on Thursday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

City updates
Four members of the Philadelphia City Council called today for police officers to stop using tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray and “other weaponry,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The Council members included Kendra Brooks, Jamie Gauthier, Helen Gym and Isaiah Thomas.

The City of Philadelphia issued a mandatory citywide curfew from 8 p.m. tonight through 6 a.m. Sunday, the city tweeted this afternoon.

The city additionally issued road closures in Center City today from Callowhill to South Streets and from the Delaware River to the Schuylkill River, according to a press release on June 5

Further, I-676 closed at 11 a.m. to traffic in both directions from I-95 to I-76, and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway closed at 5 a.m. to vehicular traffic from 22nd Street to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The City of Philadelphia issued the curfew and road closures in anticipation of Philadelphians resuming protesting against police brutality for the eighth consecutive day throughout the city. 

Protest updates
Thousands of protestors gathered at the Philadelphia Museum of Art at noon today to demand justice for victims of police brutality and condemn the actions of city officials and law enforcement officers over the past week, WHYY reported

Protestors specifically called for Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw to resign and demanded that Mayor Jim Kenney and the City Council “defund and demilitarize the police,” according to the Facebook page for the event. They also called for Gov. Tom Wolf to immediately withdraw the National Guard.

Protestors additionally gathered this morning in Kensington at the corner of Frankford and Allegheny Avenues for a neighborhood peace and unity march, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. City officials asked them to cancel the march in light of the larger one planned at the Philadelphia Museum of Art but the group continued down Allegheny Avenue and knelt in solidarity for George Floyd when they reached F Street, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported

WHYY additionally linked to a tweet with information about a variety of other protests happening throughout the city today. 

The Kimmel Center will offer protesters water, restrooms and other services from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., according to a tweet earlier this morning. Philadelphia’s Office of Emergency Management is additionally providing water and misting fans at demonstration locations in Center City and the Parkway, Kenney tweeted this afternoon. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health is further giving masks to people who need them while supplies last, Kenney said in the tweet. The mural of former Mayor Frank Rizzo in the Italian Market will be removed on Sunday at 1 a.m., the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.


SUNDAY JUNE 7: Day Nine of Protests

The City of Philadelphia has chosen to not issue a mandatory citywide curfew tonight for the first time since May 30, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

This decision follows the ninth day of Philadelphia’s protests against police brutality, with thousands of protesters across the city kneeling peacefully in solidarity with victims like George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others.

Doctors, nurses and supporters held a peaceful demonstration at the site of the former Hahnemann University Hospital this morning to protest the racial disparities in health care, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The mural of former Mayor Frank Rizzo in the Italian Market was painted over this morning with the consent of the wall owner, Mural Arts Philadelphia tweeted. Mural Arts Philadelphia will collaborate with the community over the next few weeks to select an artist to create a new mural. 


MONDAY JUNE 8: Day Ten of Protests

Temple University will not end its ties to the Philadelphia Police Department, according to an announcement last night written by President Richard Englert, Executive Vice President and Provost JoAnne Epps and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Kevin Clark. 

Temple said that severing ties would not be in the best interest of the Temple community because the university’s involvement with the PPD allows it to access citywide safety services, such as the city’s dispatch system, according to the announcement. 

Instead, the university said it will rebuild public trust in its policing practices by ensuring that new Temple Police officers continue to receive antiracism training. Temple will also work with Gov. Tom Wolf and Mayor Jim Kenney to adopt recommendations from President Barack Obama’s Tasak Force on 21st Century Policing report and organize discussions between student leaders, the PPD and Temple Police, according to the announcement.

This decision came after thousands of Temple students petitioned for the university and Temple Health to end their corporate partnerships with the Philadelphia Police Foundation during protests for George Floyd and other victims of police brutality. 

Temple additionally received hundreds of messages this week expressing disappointment at racist comments that over a dozen incoming and current students made on social media, according to the announcement. 

Although Temple said that it must uphold these students’ First Amendment rights, the Vice President for Student Affairs, Theresa Powell, and the Dean of Students will meet each student who posted these comments, according to the announcement. Each comment will also be reviewed in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.

The announcement also addressed a Philadelphia Police Inspector’s violent treatment of Evan Gorski, a Temple student, at an off-campus protest on Monday. The university said it had contacted Gorski and “will continue to support him throughout this process,” according to the announcement. 

The announcement concluded with the university promoting some of the initiatives it has taken to support the Temple community. 

City updates
Philadelphia Police Inspector Joseph Bologna turned himself in today to face aggravated assault and other charges after a video surfaced last week of him beating Gorski with his baton, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Bologna’s fellow police officers organized fundraising efforts over the weekend to help cover his legal costs, including a GoFundMe that has raised over $22,000 and a t-shirt selling campaign, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Hundreds of Philadelphians peacefully marched throughout Center City today as part of a demonstration hosted by the Defender Association of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Calling for criminal justice reform and increased funding for Philadelphia’s public defenders, the group included public defenders and their families, formerly incarcerated individuals, relatives of people killed by police violence and supporters of the movement, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Members of the Pennsylvania Black Legislative Caucus filibustered for over an hour today in the State House to demand Republican leaders take action on a package of 19 police reform bills, WHYY reported.

Fourteen of the Philadelphia City Council’s 17 members signed a letter outlining 15 police reforms for  Kenney to consider, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The letter was drafted by the office of Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson and the only members who did not sign were Councilmembers Brian O’Neill, David Oh and Bobby Henon.Philadelphia’s Boat House Row will light up gold tonight as part of a nationwide tribute to Floyd, whose funeral will take place in Houston tomorrow, Kenney tweeted this afternoon.


TUESDAY JUNE 9: Day Eleven of Protests

Philadelphians are preparing to take to the streets today to protest the death of George Floyd and other victims of police brutality for the 11th consecutive day, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. 

Four major protests are scheduled throughout the city today, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported: 

  • 10:30 a.m.: Philadelphia’s sanitation workers will gather in Love Park to demand better personal protective equipment, hazard pay and COVID-19 testing
  • 11:00 a.m.: a rally for families to peacefully demand justice for Floyd will begin at Clark Park (4300 Baltimore Ave.), with attendees encouraged to wear masks and practice social distancing
  • 1:30 p.m.: protesters will meet at 4900 Baltimore Ave. and march throughout the city to demand “the abolition of oppressive systems,” according to the Facebook event page. Marchers plan to stop at Clark Park, Rittenhouse Square, City Hall and the Philadelphia Police Department headquarters at 8th and Race. 
  • 5:30 p.m.: a peaceful protest will be held at 500 Rhawn St. to demand justice for Floyd

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