11:12 PM - June 4, 2020
11:12 PM - June 4, 2020

Recap: Officials offer proposed reforms in response to protests

On the sixth day of protests against police brutality and racial injustice in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, Philadelphia marchers demanded a set of police reforms, and state and local officials offered their most concrete responses yet to the demonstrations.

Mayor Jim Kenney said the city had heard their “cries of anguish” and vowed “to do better," while Gov. Tom Wolf said he would push for legislative police reform and establish a commission to investigate alleged misconduct by the Pennsylvania State Police and other law enforcement agencies under his purview.

In Philadelphia, protesters presented their most unified front yet as they marched from the Art Museum to Independence Mall and back again on another hot day. The marches, like those the two previous days, were peaceful. Police Commissioner Daniel Outlaw said 755 people had been arrested since Saturday, 492 of which were code violations for curfew.

Saying the voices of the thousands of protesters who have taken to the streets every day since Saturday had “led us to this point,” Kenney announced he would form a steering committee to help the city move toward reconciliation with residents. He and Commissioner Outlaw announced they were taking a pledge to address police use-of-force policies in Philadelphia.

Read more of our coverage of today’s events:

8:30 PM - June 4, 2020
8:30 PM - June 4, 2020

Video: Sixth day of George Floyd protests in Philadelphia

8:02 PM - June 4, 2020
8:02 PM - June 4, 2020

Protests peaceful as 8 p.m. curfew takes effect

As the city’s 8 p.m. curfew takes effect, protests have remained peaceful in Philadelphia though a small vocal contigent remained near City Hall.

While thousands of demonstrators marched through Center City calling for change, police officers were notably absent from the street corners they occupied en masse on previous days of protest, instead surveying the procession from a distance.

Protesters stop and kneel on Market at 13th in Center City Philadelphia, Thursday, June 4, 2020 Protesters take to the streets in Philadelphia during a protest against the death of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.
STEVEN M. FALK / Staff Photographer
Protesters stop and kneel on Market at 13th in Center City Philadelphia, Thursday, June 4, 2020 Protesters take to the streets in Philadelphia during a protest against the death of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.

It was the second day that demonstrations remained peaceful and that police did not take action against the group. Although the protesters regularly chanted, “No good cops in a racist system,” the group even applauded the officers who safely escorted them through the city streets at one point.

“We only have one message, and that’s police reform,” said Sixx King, one of the organizers and leaders of the march.

“We are going to get the fake cops out of this system,” King said. “Real cops put their lives on the line for you. Fake cops take your lives.”

King said this reform looks like police receiving psychological evaluations every six months; police lawsuit settlements falling not on the taxpayers but on the police pension fund; strict monitoring of officers’ social media; and officers investigated by an outside agency.

— Oona Goodin-Smith, Maddie Hanna, Ellie Rushing

6:45 PM - June 4, 2020
6:45 PM - June 4, 2020

Protesters on the ground for 8 minutes, 46 seconds at Art Museum

As the day turned to evening Thursday, protesters laid on the ground in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in solidarity with the black lives lost to police brutality.

They laid for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the amount of time a white Minneapolis police officer fatally knelt on the neck of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, last week.

At the end, they recited George Floyd’s last words together: “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe, mama...”

The massive group started at the museum at 2 p.m. Thursday, before marching through City Hall, down to Independence Hall, then back up Walnut Street before returning to the museum again.

The nearly five-hour-long march swelled to thousands of people as the day progressed, becoming one of the week’s largest protests.

— Oona Goodin Smith, Maddie Hanna

6:03 PM - June 4, 2020
6:03 PM - June 4, 2020
5:53 PM - June 4, 2020
5:53 PM - June 4, 2020

Kenney says Philly will take Obama’s call to address use-of-force policies seriously

A city spokesperson said officials were working through the proposals articulated both locally and nationally, and reviewing use-of-force policies would be part of that process.

“In President Obama’s speech and his call to local elected officials, he references the ‘8 Can’t Wait’ project from Campaign Zero — a list of eight policies proven to decrease police violence. Campaign Zero has indicated that Philadelphia is already utilizing seven of their eight recommended policies Philadelphia is already taking some of the steps recommended by respected groups like Campaign Zero, but we also know there is always room for improvement," the spokesperson said.

— Oona Goodin-Smith

5:44 PM - June 4, 2020
5:44 PM - June 4, 2020

Photos: A sixth day of protests in Philadelphia focuses on unity

5:31 PM - June 4, 2020
5:31 PM - June 4, 2020

Coalition wants police departments to share officer abuse histories

A statewide coalition of law enforcement officials, including Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, is calling for steps to prevent police departments from hiring officers who have histories of abuse elsewhere, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office announced Thursday.

It called on state lawmakers to pass legislation requiring law-enforcement agencies to keep detailed personnel records that would include all substantiated complaints against officers.

Agencies would be required to review all relevant records before hiring an officer.

According to the coalition, currently sometimes records aren’t even requested, leaving departments “blind to a prospective employee’s history, even when misconduct or a pattern of excessive use of force has been documented.”

"Millions are peacefully demanding change in our country and we need to show them we’re listening,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

— Anthony R. Wood

5:19 PM - June 4, 2020
5:19 PM - June 4, 2020

Wolf wants civilian police-review boards statewide

In the wake of George Floyd’s death and criticism of the police response to subsequent protests, Gov. Tom Wolf said Thursday that he wanted every municipality in the state to establish civilian police advisory boards.

He also said he would appoint a deputy inspector general who would be responsible specifically for police matters, including alleged abuse, and said he was directing law enforcement agencies throughout the state to review training criteria that would include addressing “implicit bias.”

“I think the civil unrest will remind us that we have a long way to go,” he said at a news conference that started with a moment of silence for Floyd, who died while in the custody of Minneapolis police after an officer had pressed his knee upon his neck for almost nine minutes.

Wolf acknowledged that the civilian board concept wouldn’t be universally popular among Pennsylvania towns, some of which have small or even no police departments.

“I recognize some of them are going to push back on that,” he said, adding that he order them to do so “by fiat.” (Philadelphia has a police advisory board.)

He said he would “revisit” the issue of public access to police videos.

Wolf said the protests were transcending George Floyd and alleged police abuse and were addressing social inequalities. “This is an issue that extends throughout the way we live. We cannot have two Pennsylvanias, two Americas.”

— Anthony R. Wood

5:10 PM - June 4, 2020
5:10 PM - June 4, 2020

George Floyd eulogized at Minneapolis memorial in first of 3 events

The Rev. Al Sharpton speaks at a memorial service for, George Floyd at North Central University Thursday, June 4, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
AP
The Rev. Al Sharpton speaks at a memorial service for, George Floyd at North Central University Thursday, June 4, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Hollywood celebrities, musicians and the politically powerful filed into a sanctuary in front of the golden casket of George Floyd for a memorial service Thursday as mourners began a three-city farewell to the man who was anonymous in life but sparked global protests for justice in death.

The service was held at North Central University for the 46-year-old out-of-work bouncer, who died May 25 after a white police officer put his knee on Floyd’s neck as the black man lay handcuffed on the pavement, gasping that he couldn’t breathe.

From coast to coast, and from Paris and London to Sydney and Rio de Janeiro, his death has set off turbulent and sometimes violent demonstrations against police brutality, racism and inequality.

“He was a human being. He had family, he had dreams, he had hopes. The real duty of one with this type of assignment is to underscore the value of the human life that was taken, which gives the reason the movement was occurring,” the civil rights leader the Rev. Al Sharpton said ahead of the gathering.

— Associated Press

4:56 PM - June 4, 2020
4:56 PM - June 4, 2020

People flock to witness protest history

As thousands of people marched from Independence Hall west on Walnut Street, business owners and nurses from Jefferson Hospital flooded into the sidewalks to witness the historic movement against police brutality.

Jocks PHL, a two-level gay bar at 1330 Walnut St., jumped at the opportunity to hand out water to the protestors and offer their support. Head of Security Reggie Reid, sporting a rainbow-colored face mask, stood in front of the bar, cheering people on and directly providing water. He said the bar’s owner, Ken Lowe, saw the crowd coming and told him to grab all the water they had.

“I want them to know that I support them,” said Reid, “and that Jocks supports them.”

Reid said it was beautiful to see this movement coincide with June, which is Pride Month.

“This was the first time they marched down this street,” he said. “This is a black-owned business so we are so happy we can do something to help.”

— Ellie Rushing

4:36 PM - June 4, 2020
4:36 PM - June 4, 2020

Protesters in Center City urge unity

Organizers of Philadelphia’s demonstrations urged unity Thursday, as more than a thousand protesters filed down Market Street in the shadow of Philadelphia City Hall Thursday, chanting “the people united will not be divided.”

After days of separate protest groups marching through the city, Thursday’s effort was one of the most unified since the demonstrations against police brutality began in the city on Saturday.

“We had a couple of people that tried to divide us, but we only have one message, and that’s police reform,” said organizer Sixx King, standing in front of Independence Hall. “And we want it immediately, and we want it from the mayor.”

Philadelphia’s movement, he said, has been “reclaimed from the suburban and urban terrorists.”

“We’ve reclaimed it. And we love cops, but we don’t like fake cops.”

— Oona Goodin-Smith and Samantha Melamed

4:10 PM - June 4, 2020
4:10 PM - June 4, 2020

Protesters make several demands to reform Philly police department

Protesters in front of Independence Hall demanded several changes for the city in an attempt to improve policing and end brutality. They include:

  • Mental evaluations for all police officers
  • Police lawsuit settlements should be paid by the police pension fund, not taxpayers
  • Ensure all officers are investigated by an outside agency
  • Make sure body cameras are always on for full transparency
  • Permanently ban officers receiving complaints from policing in any jurisdiction

“We only have one message, and that’s police reform,” said organizer Sixx King.

— Oona Goodin-Smith

4:01 PM - June 4, 2020
4:01 PM - June 4, 2020

Hundreds from Philly school principals union marched in silence down Broad Street

Hundreds of people with Philly school principals union, many holding Black Lives Matter signs, marched silently down North Broad street to district headquarters Thursday afternoon.

Principals said they want to show support for students. “A lot of them, they’re hurt, they’re angry, they’re frustrated. They feel a sense of hopelessness,” said Ayris Colvin, principal of Building 21 in West Oak Lane. She hoped kids would appreciate school leaders marching.

Robin Cooper, the head of principals union, said the purpose of the march is to denounce racism.

“We don’t just earn our living off Philadelphia... ignore what’s going on and say business as usual. When our children hurt, we hurt," Cooper said.

Once they arrived at district headquarters, the group knelt silently for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the amount of time former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on George Floyd’s throat, leading to his eventual death.

— Maddie Hanna

3:55 PM - June 4, 2020
3:55 PM - June 4, 2020

‘United together, divided we fall!’ Large crowd chants in front of Independence Hall

Since Saturday, groups of separate protests have marched through the city. Today, the majority of Philadelphia’s protesters are sticking together in front of Independence Hall, where they are peacefully chanting, “United together, divided we fall!”

“We’ve reclaimed it,” said organizer Sixx King.

— Oona Goodin-Smith

3:30 PM - June 4, 2020
3:30 PM - June 4, 2020

Protesters encourage crowd to help with cleanup efforts

Some protesters gathered at Love Park attributed the looting and destruction to outside infiltrators, and urged those attending protests to help clean up.

“It’s just appalling to me,” said Lauren Coursy of Southwest Philadelphia, of the destruction in her community, which after decades of neglect has lately seen the creep of gentrification and with it the threat of displacement. “This protest movement has destroyed multiple jobs of mine.”

She urged demonstrators to stand up to those destroying their communities and take part in the rebuilding. “If you see someone doing something in your neighborhood, speak up,” she said. She started a hashtag, #justcleanyourhood, to spread the movement.

— Samantha Melamed

3:25 PM - June 4, 2020
3:25 PM - June 4, 2020

‘They want you to forget this’: Large crowd marches in Center City

A group of at least 1,000 protestors continued beyond the Art Museum Thursday, marching through Love Park, then continuing around City Hall before heading east on Market Street. They stopped in the shade in the road, extending five blocks down, to rest, rehydrate, and reiterate their message.

“They want you to forget this,” said Sixx King, one of the organizers. “We will be mobilized. We will vote out the judges, we will vote out the politicians.”

At one point, protesters gave a round of applause to the police, who are escorting them and not using force.

— Ellie Rushing and Oona Goodin-Smith

3:08 PM - June 4, 2020
3:08 PM - June 4, 2020

After proposing $14 million increase for police, Kenney said he’ll likely tweak his budget proposal

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw visit the business district near Germantown, Erie and N. Broad on Thursday, June 4, 2020. This was the scene of looting this past Sunday.
Staff Photographer
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw visit the business district near Germantown, Erie and N. Broad on Thursday, June 4, 2020. This was the scene of looting this past Sunday.

After facing criticism for proposing a $14 million increase to the police department budget while reducing funding to other city services, Mayor Jim Kenney said Thursday that he will likely tweak his budget proposal to City Council.

“In the midst of all that’s going on there are some additional priorities being set,” Kenney said. “Part of our job is to present a budget, which we did in February. COVID hit, we presented a new one. This hit, probably presenting tweaks on the second one.”

At a news conference, Kenney declined to specify potential changes, but at an earlier news conference, Managing Director Brian Abernathy discussed a planned 20% reduction to the budget of the city’s police advisory commission.

“We are in a $650 million deficit so we have had to make a lot of painful cuts” due to the coronavirus pandemic, Abernathy said.

He said that even with the cuts, the commission has more funding than it did when Kenney took office in 2016. But, he noted, “oversight is really important for our police department going forward.”

Kenney said he would continue to work with City Council, which must pass a budget before the fiscal year ends June 30.

Council President Darrell L. Clarke said he would unveil his budget priorities on Friday, and other Council members voiced concern Thursday about prioritizing police funding over investment in communities.

— Laura McCrystal and Sean Collins Walsh

2:40 PM - June 4, 2020
2:40 PM - June 4, 2020

Hundreds gather in Center City for sixth straight day of protests

Protesters march, on the Parkway, from the Art Museum to City Hall in Phila., Pa. on June 4, 2020.
ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer
Protesters march, on the Parkway, from the Art Museum to City Hall in Phila., Pa. on June 4, 2020.

On Thursday afternoon, a march of a thousand or more that started at the Philadelphia Museum of Art struck a subtly different tone from previous protests by overlaying the raw outrage of the killing of George Floyd and other victims of police violence with a series of clear-cut demands for city and police leaders.

Among them: an independent reviews of all allegations of misconduct, desk duty for any officers under investigation, routine psychological testing and social-media screening of police.

Organizer Sixx King told the crowd it was personal for him: "I lost my father to the police 25 years ago," he said. Reclaiming one of President Trump's favorite phrases, he proposed a hashtag: #fakecops. "Real cops put their life on the line for you. Fake cops take your life."

Protesters decry the death of George Floyd, who was killed at the hands of police, on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Ellie Rushing
Protesters decry the death of George Floyd, who was killed at the hands of police, on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Another speaker, Lee Scott Lorde, said he reform needs to go well beyond the police department, to reach all the white people at City Hall "that think they're liberal."

"We need to declare racism as a public health crisis," she said. She planned to march to South Street "and all the gentrified areas to let them know if they are going to be part of our city, they need to be part of the solution."

— Samantha Melamed and Ellie Rushing

2:30 PM - June 4, 2020
2:30 PM - June 4, 2020

Thousands march down Lancaster Avenue from Wayne to Paoli

A group from The Main Line for Black Lives protests as they walk on Lancaster Avenue in Paoli, Pa. on June 4, 2020. The group marched from the Wayne Train Station to the Paoli Train Station.
DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
A group from The Main Line for Black Lives protests as they walk on Lancaster Avenue in Paoli, Pa. on June 4, 2020. The group marched from the Wayne Train Station to the Paoli Train Station.

Thousands of demonstrators walked 5.5 miles in the Thursday afternoon heat down Lancaster Avenue from Wayne to Paoli to protest police brutality and the death of George Floyd.

Roshaun Christopher, 20, and his brother, Amani, 18, said they came to make a statement as black men from Malvern. They thought the protest would be much smaller and were heartened by the show of solidarity.

“It’s not just a one-race problem,” Roshaun said. “It’s a human problem.”

“Need a rest or a prayer?” reads the sign on a beach chair, which Madison Miller, 26, of Berwyn, set up at the end of the route. She said she did not expect this crowd. “It just shows how many people want to see change and how we’re all ready to do more.”

— Erin McCarthy

2:25 PM - June 4, 2020
2:25 PM - June 4, 2020

Commissioner: 755 people have been arrested since Saturday

A person is arrested near Broad and Spring Garden Streets, in Philadelphia, June 01, 2020. Monday is the third day of protests about the police involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer
A person is arrested near Broad and Spring Garden Streets, in Philadelphia, June 01, 2020. Monday is the third day of protests about the police involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said 755 people have been arrested since Saturday.

Of those arrests, 492 have been code violations for curfew, 14 for assault on police, four for firearms violations, 13 for theft, 228 for looting or burglary, and one each for rioting, propulsion of a missile, vandalism, and aggravated assault.

Outlaw said police will enforce a curfew beginning at 8 p.m. Thursday.

At least 27 officers have been injured since Saturday, Outlaw said, and at least one was still hospitalized Thursday afternoon.

Outlaw said protesters Wednesday were peaceful and showed the “true spirit of united call for change and reform that we all desire.”

“We will continue to vigorously protect and uphold these types of First Amendment expressions while condemning acts of violence and destruction of property," she said.

— Laura McCrystal

2:20 PM - June 4, 2020
2:20 PM - June 4, 2020

Kenney forms group on police reform and reconciliation

Mayor Jim Kenney and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw meet with community leaders at Erie and Broad streets, in Philadelphia, Thursday, June 4, 2020.
Staff Photographer
Mayor Jim Kenney and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw meet with community leaders at Erie and Broad streets, in Philadelphia, Thursday, June 4, 2020.

Mayor Jim Kenney announced Thursday that he will form a steering committee to help the city move toward reconciliation.

Kenney said the “large and diverse” group, formed in response to the cries of protesters, would look at police reform and other issues affecting black communities, such as structural violence and poverty.

“Their cries of anguish and their demands to be heard have led us to this point,” Kenney said of the thousands of protesters who filled the city’s streets this week. “We pledge to do better.”

Kenney introduced black community leaders who will be part of the committee.

“We are looking forward to moving this city in the right direction,” said one member, Sarah-Ashley Andrews, founder and CEO of Dare2Hope.

— Laura McCrystal

2:00 PM - June 4, 2020
2:00 PM - June 4, 2020

Atlantic City man faces federal rioting charge

Police stand outside Timberland Outlet in Atlantic City, where windows were smashed on Sunday, May 31, 2020.
Amy Rosenberg / Staff
Police stand outside Timberland Outlet in Atlantic City, where windows were smashed on Sunday, May 31, 2020.

Federal authorities in Camden charged an Atlantic City man Thursday with using social media to participate in and encourage rioting after investigators reviewed posts and video on his Facebook page.

The charge against Carlos A. Matchett stemmed from events Sunday night in Atlantic City, where hundreds gathered to protest the killing of George Floyd.

There were 17 arrests in Atlantic City that night, according to local officials, but Matchett is the first person in the Philadelphia area to face federal charges in connection to the unrest.

Matchett had his initial court appearance a Zoom video conference Thursday afternoon from the Salem County Intake Facility and was ordered detained by U.S. Magistrate Karen M. Williams until a bail hearing on Tuesday. He is being represented by Public Defender Margaret Moy.

He told the judge he lived in a condo in Atlantic City that was owned by his father. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gabriel Vidoni told the judge the government would be seeking to detain Matchett “on the ground of danger.” U.S. Attorney General William Barr said Thursday at a news conference that the FBI has arrested 51 people nationwide in connection with the unrest.

The Atlantic City protest Sunday lasted for hours, as hundreds marched around the city and ultimately gathered at the steps of the Public Safety Building, but then led into hours of looting and vandalism at the city’s Tanger Outlets, known as The Walk, and elsewhere in the city.

According to a criminal complaint, police arrested Carlos Matchett at the scene around 8:30 p.m., after a curfew had been imposed, and confiscated a folding knife, a hatchet and a jar containing what appeared to be gasoline.

The complaint said Matchett was observed in the middle of the street shouting obscenities at law enforcement and “enticing persons around him to join in looting.”

The 30-year-old’s Facebook page contains a post stating “LETS START a RIOT," with video of activity from Philadelphia, about two hours before he was arrested.

The complaint says the page also shows a video Matchett allegedly filmed showing him urging people to enter smashed store fronts at the Walk to go looting.

The charge carries a maximum prison term of five years and a $250,000 fine.

— Amy Rosenberg

1:49 PM - June 4, 2020
1:49 PM - June 4, 2020

Activists, defense lawyers condemn police department’s response to protests

A person runs through a cloud of tear gas while being sprayed with a chemical by police after a large crowd near the the foot locker was dispersed by police at 52nd and Chestnut Streets , May 31, 2020.
Philadelphia Inquirer
A person runs through a cloud of tear gas while being sprayed with a chemical by police after a large crowd near the the foot locker was dispersed by police at 52nd and Chestnut Streets , May 31, 2020.

Activists and defense lawyers on Thursday gathered in front of Police Headquarters to condemn the department’s response to this week’s protests, describing it as unnecessarily violent and trampling on demonstrators’ rights.

“We saw the Philadelphia Police Department undermine the First Amendment in a grotesque way,” said Paul Hetznecker, an attorney who has organized a team of lawyers to represent demonstrators.

Hetznecker and about 25 advocates, including several with the group Up Against the Law, said they were particularly troubled by the number of legal observers, journalists, and health volunteers who have reported injuries or arrests.

Emily Seiter, 34, displayed a bruise on her right leg, which she said was the result of being struck by a canister containing rubber bullets when she was acting as a medic in West Philadelphia around 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

She said she and several people with her were “clearly marked as medics” on scene to treat protesters and residents for potential injuries. Seiter, of the Firefly Action Medical Collective, said she did not see who shot her, but that the canister exploded after striking her and ricocheting.

Nathaniel Miller, 41, a legal observer with Up Against the Law, said he was handcuffed, pushed against a wall, shot by rubber bullets, and pepper sprayed during three different encounters with police on Saturday and Monday.

In a video he shared from the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, which he said was shot Monday, an officer standing close to Miller appears to fire two quick bursts of pepper spray at him as he described himself as a legal observer.

Police, Miller said, “must cease all violence against those exercising their First Amendment rights.”

— Chris Palmer

1:40 PM - June 4, 2020
1:40 PM - June 4, 2020

‘Catto was the 1871 George Floyd’: Leaders kneel in silence for nine minutes

Peaceful protesters take a knee in honor of the memory of George Floyd at the Octavius V. Catto Memorial outside of City Hall to, in Philadelphia, June 04, 2020.
JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer
Peaceful protesters take a knee in honor of the memory of George Floyd at the Octavius V. Catto Memorial outside of City Hall to, in Philadelphia, June 04, 2020.

An interfaith coalition of Philadelphia’s clergy, including leaders of POWER, demonstrated by kneeling in silence for nine minutes by the statue of Octavius Catto near City Hall on Thursday.

“Catto was the 1871 George Floyd,” unjustly killed in racial strife, said Rev. Mark Tyler of Mother Bethel AME. “One would think from 1871 to 2020 we would have made more progress than we have.”

Floyd was killed in Minneapolis after a police officer knelt on his neck for nine minutes.

The gathering sought to lend broader support to what have often been youth-led protests, bringing together Philadelphia’s district attorney, chief defender, sheriff and several members of City Council.

Tyler called the police response to protests, in particular the teargassing of those on I-676, “domestic terrorism” and called for police accountability.

Chief defender Keir Bradford-Grey took the opportunity to urge District Attorney Larry Krasner to stop charging people involved in looting with felonies, saying many have no prior records. “This is a moment of civil unrest. We should not take advantage of this moment to bring people into the system.”

Krasner said felony burglary and criminal trespass charges were appropriate, but that most had been released on bail.

"There are parts of the city right now where there is no pharmacy or supermarket or place to buy a stove if yours breaks," he said.

As the demonstration wound down, counter-protesters arrived shouting at Krasner to drop charges against those held in connection with protests.

Then, the group migrated from one symbol to another, to visit the former site of the Rizzo statue.

"People keep asking who moved the Rizzo statue. You moved the Rizzo statue," Tyler told the crowd. "And let me say this. If you can move the statue, you can move public policy."

The group was stopped by barriers lined with Philadelphia police and National Guard. They asked the officers to join protesters in taking a knee, to no avail. One explained quietly that it was not allowed, that other officers had gotten into trouble for it.

“You take a knee when it’s to break our necks, when it’s to crush our windpipes,” said Samantha Rise, 32, shouting her frustration. “Who do you protect? Literally what are you protecting right now?”

In response, a member of the Guard passed her a case of bottled water to share.

“This is what it could be!” she told them.

— Samantha Melamed

1:30 PM - June 4, 2020
1:30 PM - June 4, 2020

Montco commissioner censured and condemned for calling Black Lives Matter a hate group

Montgomery County Commissioners voted Thursday to censure and condemn Republican Commissioner Joe Gale for releasing a “hateful, divisive and false” statement this week on County letterhead.

In the statement, Gale referred to Black Lives Matter as a hate group.

Commissioners Valerie Arkoosh and Ken Lawrence, both Democrats, voted for the censure resolution during Thursday’s virtual meeting, as protesters outside the Montgomery County government complex in Norristown called for Gale’s resignation.

The resolution states that Gale should act according to the standards required by County employees, and calls for his resignation if he refuses to do so.

“The Montgomery County Board of Commissioners hereby censure and condemn Commissioner Gale for actions violative of the Montgomery County Code of Ethics to which County employees are subject, including the false use of County title, identification or resources in connection with certain political activities, and for the dissemination of communications which negatively impact the County,” the resolution states.

Gale is not formally subject to the requirements of the code of ethics for county employees, as he is an elected official.

"His fellow Commissioners may still censure his conduct to repudiate his statement and make clear that elected officials should be held to a higher standard," the resolution states.

Gale said in a statement Thursday that he "will not be bullied or pushed around," and said he will continue to speak for the voters who elected him.

“You can censure me but you cannot silence me,” he said.

— Laura McCrystal

1:17 PM - June 4, 2020
1:17 PM - June 4, 2020

News insrapher punched ahead of Kenney press conference

Philadelphia police tackle a man that stuck a news photographer on the northwest corner of N. Broad and Erie. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw were visiting the business district near Germantown, Erie and N. Broad on Thursday, June 4, 2020.
Staff Photographer
Philadelphia police tackle a man that stuck a news photographer on the northwest corner of N. Broad and Erie. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw were visiting the business district near Germantown, Erie and N. Broad on Thursday, June 4, 2020.

Ahead of a press conference Thursday, a news photographer was punched in the face by a passerby and knocked to the ground. He suffered minor injuries.

The photographer was assaulted just feet from where Mayor Jim Kenney and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw stood. Officers swarmed the man who hit the photographer and took him into custody.

“You can predict a lot,” Outlaw said of the protests that have taken place over the last week. “But that was a perfect example — you can’t predict everything.”

— Allison Steele

12:52 PM - June 4, 2020
12:52 PM - June 4, 2020

Attorney General Barr: Extremists, foreign actors have ‘hijacked’ peaceful demonstrations

Attorney General William Barr, seen here at the Justice Department back in January.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP
Attorney General William Barr, seen here at the Justice Department back in January.

Attorney General William Barr said extremists and outsiders are attempting to co-opt largely peaceful protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

Barr, speaking during a virtual press conference on Thursday, said foreign actors have been “playing all sides” in an attempt to exacerbate violence. He also said the Justice Department has evidence that extremist groups were “hijacking” demonstrations to instigate criminal activity.

There have been 51 people arrested for federal charges in connection with the demonstrations, Barr said, including three alleged members of a white supremacist group ahead of a rally in Richmond, Va.

— Rob Tornoe

12:30 PM - June 4, 2020
12:30 PM - June 4, 2020

Mayor Kenney, Police Commissioner Outlaw meet with business owners, residents in North Philly

Issac Carlton, of Philadelphia’s Tioga section, was glad to see Mayor Jim Kenney visit the community Thursday, June 4, 2020. To Carlton it says, “He cares about our community. Improvement. We’ll see.”
Issac Carlton, of Philadelphia’s Tioga section, was glad to see Mayor Jim Kenney visit the community Thursday, June 4, 2020. To Carlton it says, “He cares about our community. Improvement. We’ll see.”

Mayor Jim Kenney and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw met with residents and business owners at Broad and Erie streets in North Philadelphia Thursday afternoon on the sixth straight day of demonstrations in the city.

Kenney and Outlaw visited businesses along Germantown Avenue, and spoke to residents who dropped by to see them.

“These are our neighborhoods, and these are our folks,” Kenney said. He said they were there to show support for the community, but said the protesters who are taking to the streets in marches and demonstrations had a right to continue for as long as they wanted.

“This has been a long time coming,” Kenney said. “I understand why people explode.”

Kenney also credited the National Guard for helping keep the peace, which he said has freed up police officers to be out in the community doing their job.

“We were outnumbered on Saturday night and Sunday. We’ve got the [National] Guard in, and I will give them credit — they’ve kind-of stabilized some things,” Kenney said. “I’ve seen them interact with folks in the street, and they seem to be well trained and well mannered.”

— Allison Steele and Rob Tornoe

11:30 AM - June 4, 2020
11:30 AM - June 4, 2020

‘Joe must go’: In Norristown, protesters call for Montco commissioner to resign

In Norristown, a few hundred people have gathered in protest of recent comments by Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale, who called Black Lives Matter “a radical left-wing hate group.”

Chants of “Joe must Go!” flooded from the crowd, calling on Gale to resign. One speaker said everyone was there “because Joe Gale is a racist.”

“That press release from commissioner Gale was trash ... I wasn’t happy to see what was happening [in Philadelphia] but I understood,” said Norristown councilman Hakim Jones. “In crowds like this and communities like this, we’ll change the narrative.”

Among those to call for Gale’s resignation is Sixers forward Tobias Harris, who called the statement “disgusting to read.”

The Montgomery County commissioners are meeting virtually inside the building next to them, but no commissioners are there. People can go inside to make public comments to the commissioners via Zoom.

— Erin McCarthy

10:55 AM - June 4, 2020
10:55 AM - June 4, 2020

Philly City Council members kneel to begin session

City Council took at knee at their Zoom meeting today. Top row: Derek Green, Curtis Jones, Mark Squilla Middle row, from left: Cherelle Parker, Jamie Gauthier, Darrell Clarke Bottom row, from left: Katherine Gilmore Richardson, Kenyatta Johnson, David Oh
Screenshot
City Council took at knee at their Zoom meeting today. Top row: Derek Green, Curtis Jones, Mark Squilla Middle row, from left: Cherelle Parker, Jamie Gauthier, Darrell Clarke Bottom row, from left: Katherine Gilmore Richardson, Kenyatta Johnson, David Oh

Philadelphia City Council members took a knee in memory of George Floyd on Thursday, and called for investment in the city's black neighborhoods in response to the ongoing unrest in the city.

Council members, who met remotely via video feed as the coronavirus pandemic continues, observed a silent moment of kneeling as they began their meeting.

City Council President Darrell L. Clarke said that he will unveil a plan Friday with legislative and budgetary commitments as “a down payment, so to speak, on what we will be doing” to address racial inequity in Philadelphia.

Clarke also said the city must “right, as much as possible, wrongs that have been done” and commit to change.

“If we don’t do that, the memory of George Floyd will be lost,” Clarke said. “I’m very concerned about the direction that we could conceivably go in, but today, this morning, I’m going to ask all members to take a knee.”

Councilmember Jamie Gauthier, who cried as colleagues congratulated her for speaking with protesters in her West Philadelphia district Sunday, said the city must prioritize investment in schools, affordable housing, and recreation centers in its black communities.

“I want to say to my colleagues that now is a time to ask ourselves if it is inequitable for us to be increasing the police budget by $14 million while we’re cutting many, many things that can really help black and brown people in this city?” she said. “My answer is no but I look forward to having a conversation with my colleagues.”

Councilmember Derek Green said residents must also ask themselves, especially after protests end, “are you committed to making lasting change by making an investment in the African-American community?”

—Laura McCrystal

10:41 AM - June 4, 2020
10:41 AM - June 4, 2020

Philadelphia under curfew again Thursday night

Police detain a group of about a dozen individuals in front of the Community College of Philadelphia around 9 p.m. on Monday, June 1, 2020. A curfew will be in effect again Thursday night from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Friday morning.
TIM TAI / Staff Photographer
Police detain a group of about a dozen individuals in front of the Community College of Philadelphia around 9 p.m. on Monday, June 1, 2020. A curfew will be in effect again Thursday night from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Friday morning.

Philadelphia will be under curfew again Thursday night.

The curfew begins tonight at 8 p.m. and will remain in effect until 6 a.m. Friday morning. During that time, people may leave their homes only to go to work at essential businesses or to seek medical attention or police assistance.

It will be the sixth straight night the city will be under curfew since protests broke out against police brutality in Philadelphia on Saturday.

— Rob Tornoe

10:20 AM - June 4, 2020
10:20 AM - June 4, 2020

Philly police union president: Cops will boycott Di Bruno Bros. after shop revokes free lunch offer

Di Bruno Bros. market at 1730 Chestnut St. in Center City.
Robert Moran / Staff
Di Bruno Bros. market at 1730 Chestnut St. in Center City.

Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 president John McNesby said cops will boycott Di Bruno Bros. after the store’s owners revoked free lunches it was offering to officers

On Monday, the Di Bruno Bros. on Chestnut Street offered free lunches to police officers. But after employees complained about the policy and threatened to strike, the owners revoked it and removed a storefront sign promoting the complimentary meal.

In a letter to Di Bruno Bros. employees and customers signed by owners Bill Mignucci Jr., Emilio Mignucci, and Billy Mignucci, the store apologized for the “insensitive” policy and said it stands in “solidarity” with peace demonstrators protesting against police brutality.

“We recognize that our ability to rely on the assistance of the police to protect our store in times of unrest is a privilege that many in our city and country have not been afforded,” the letter said.

The owners said they have made donations to four charities: Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity, Black Lives Matter, The Southern Poverty Law Center, and the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund. They also pledged to shift money in their annual charitable budget to groups fighting against racial injustices, inequality, and equal opportunity.

“Growth does not come in an instant, so we will sustain long-term efforts,” the owners wrote.

— Rob Tornoe

9:50 AM - June 4, 2020
9:50 AM - June 4, 2020

Controller Rebecca Rhynhart to launch independent review of city response

People begin looting Lowes, Snipes, GameStop and T-Mobile at the Park West Town Center in West Philadelphia, on Sunday May 31, 2020.
TYGER WILLIAMS / Staff Photographer
People begin looting Lowes, Snipes, GameStop and T-Mobile at the Park West Town Center in West Philadelphia, on Sunday May 31, 2020.

Philadelphia Controller Rebecca Rhynhart announced Thursday that she will launch an independent review of the city’s response and resource deployment during the civil unrest following George Floyd’s death.

Rhynhart said the events of the past week have raised questions about the city’s preparation and response, such as having heavy police presence at City Hall on Saturday “while events escalated on Chestnut and Walnut Streets” in Center City, or lack of sufficient police presence in West Philadelphia on Sunday during protests.

“The same can be said of incidents in neighborhoods across the city,” Rhynhart said.

She said an outside expert will lead her office’s review, incorporating input from leaders, activists, and city and state officials.

“In this time when city resources are stretched thin, we must ensure dollars are being used in the best interest of the taxpayer, every day and especially in crisis situations,” Rhynhart said. “Our goal is to analyze the city’s response and answer the difficult questions, while including a broad cross section of Philadelphians throughout the process.”

— Laura McCrystal

9:00 AM - June 4, 2020
9:00 AM - June 4, 2020

Scenes from Wednesday’s peaceful protests in Philly

Protesters sit in the rain on E. Girard Ave. for 9 minutes of silence to symbolize the length of time a police officer’s knee was on George Floyd’s neck. This was done outside the 26Th District Police and Patrol Station on June 3, 2020. .
CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer
Protesters sit in the rain on E. Girard Ave. for 9 minutes of silence to symbolize the length of time a police officer’s knee was on George Floyd’s neck. This was done outside the 26Th District Police and Patrol Station on June 3, 2020. .
Protestors march at City Hall in Philadelphia, June 03, 2020. During this fifth day of protests over the police involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer
Protestors march at City Hall in Philadelphia, June 03, 2020. During this fifth day of protests over the police involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Demonstrators lay in the middle of Broad Street for nine minutes during a march in Philadelphia on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, protesting the death of George Floyd.
DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
Demonstrators lay in the middle of Broad Street for nine minutes during a march in Philadelphia on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, protesting the death of George Floyd.
8:12 AM - June 4, 2020
8:12 AM - June 4, 2020

National Guard troops remain in Philadelphia this morning

Members of the National Guard stand guard outside of City Hall and the Municipal Services Building on Thursday, June 4, 2020.
Staff Photographer
Members of the National Guard stand guard outside of City Hall and the Municipal Services Building on Thursday, June 4, 2020.

Following another day of peaceful protests, members of the Pennsylvania National Guard once again stood guard outside City Hall and the Municipal Services Building Thursday morning.

On Wednesday, Mayor Jim Kenney said he would like for the soldiers to leave Philadelphia, but said they are still needed to help supplement police officers and keep the peace as protests continue in the city.

“I want us to be where we don’t need additional support, but let me be clear — we are not there yet,” Kenney told reporters Wednesday afternoon. “They’ll leave when when we no longer need them.”

“They’re hoping to protect business and commercial corridors, which many members of our business community have requested,” Kenney added. “This frees up the police department resources to support demonstrations, respond to 911 calls, and other critical responses.”

— Rob Tornoe

8:03 AM - June 4, 2020
8:03 AM - June 4, 2020

Frank Rizzo mural in Italian Market to become a ‘blank canvas’

Mural of former Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo by artist Diane Keller and Mural Arts Program was vandalized again. The mural is in a small plaza on S. 9th and Montrose was recently vandalized. Photograph from Wednesday morning June 3, 2020.
ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / Staff Photographer
Mural of former Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo by artist Diane Keller and Mural Arts Program was vandalized again. The mural is in a small plaza on S. 9th and Montrose was recently vandalized. Photograph from Wednesday morning June 3, 2020.

A mural of former Philadelphia Mayor and Police Commissioner Frank Rizzo that has stood in the Italian Market for nearly 25 years is coming down, too.

The S. 9th Street Shopping District, property owners, and the Philadelphia Mural Arts program are working to create a new mural that “better represents” the fabric of the community, the United Merchants of the S. 9th St Business Association said in a statement.

Due to rain in the forecast again Thursday, the Rizzo mural will become “a blank canvas” as soon as possible, the statement said. It will ultimately be replaced by a new mural.

“We agree it is time to replace this long-standing piece of art to begin to heal the Black community, the LGBTQ community and many others,” the Italian Market added.

The mural was painted in 1995, but has been defaced multiple times over the years, painted over with phases such as “END COPS 4EVA,” “FASCISTA,” and “F– POLICE.” After the riots in Charlottesville, Va. in 2017, the painting was defaced with the words “KILL KILLER COPS.”

— Rob Tornoe

7:20 AM - June 4, 2020
7:20 AM - June 4, 2020

More protests planned today in Philly

Protestors stop to listen to speakers at Broad and Cecil B. Moore in Philadelphia on June 03, 2020.
JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer
Protestors stop to listen to speakers at Broad and Cecil B. Moore in Philadelphia on June 03, 2020.

There are a handful of protests planned today in and around Philadelphia, on what would be the sixth day of demonstrations following the killing of George Floyd.

At 2 p.m., marchers are expected to make their way from Philadelphia Museum of Art to City Hall with demands for Mayor Jim Kenney. At 3 p.m., the Workers World Party are planning a peaceful march on JFK Boulevard beginning at LOVE Park.

At 3:30 p.m., a group of school administrators are planning a silent march beginning at the Commonwealth Association of School Administrators’ offices at 855 North Broad Street.

— Rob Tornoe

6:30 AM - June 4, 2020
6:30 AM - June 4, 2020

National Guard troops being housed at West Chester University

West Chester University is housing Pennsylvania National Guard troops who are serving in Philadelphia, a university vice president said in an email Wednesday night to the institution’s employees.

John Villella, vice president for university affairs and chief of staff, said the guard units are being housed for approximately seven days and are providing all their own needs, including food and sleeping cots.

Villella said the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency contacted the State System of Higher Education earlier this week and requested temporary housing for the troops. Villella said the university was unoccupied and under social-distancing protocols, so it agreed to the request.

— Robert Moran

6:15 AM - June 4, 2020
6:15 AM - June 4, 2020

Gov. Wolf marched with protesters in another day of peaceful protests

Gov. Tom Wolf marches with demonstrators in Harrisburg on June 3, 2020.
Cynthia Fernandez
Gov. Tom Wolf marches with demonstrators in Harrisburg on June 3, 2020.

Hundreds marched through Philadelphia streets and gathered at City Hall and in front of the Art Museum on Wednesday, raising their voices in another day of sustained, nonviolent protest against police brutality.

As passionate demonstrations spurred by the death of George Floyd, the black man killed after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck, continued across the country, marchers in Philadelphia said they hoped the continuing protests would garner lasting momentum for the fight against systemic racism.

“The protests that happened before this kind of died out, but the rage still stayed inside everyone,” said Jasmine Harvey, 27, referring to demonstrations that followed the deaths of other black people in police custody in recent years. “This time, we’re trying to become a unit, and use our voices and the white voices as our allies.”

In Harrisburg, Gov. Tom Wolf joined hundreds of demonstrators as they marched through the capital city to protest the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. “I’m proud to be here to show my support,” the governor told the crowd. “You’re doing the right thing.”

In response to Floyd’s killing, Democrats in the state House on Tuesday unveiled a package of reform bills that would change Pennsylvania’s deadly force law and ramp up police oversight. The measures are similar to ones introduced after death of Antwon Rose II, an unarmed black teenager who was fatally shot by a police officer outside Pittsburgh in 2018. That legislation has since languished in the GOP-controlled General Assembly.

— Justine McDaniel, Anna Orso, Pranshu Verma, Juliana Feliciano Reyes, and Cynthia Fernandez

6:00 AM - June 4, 2020
6:00 AM - June 4, 2020

Front page of Wednesday’s Philadelphia Inquirer

The front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer on Thursday, May 4.
Philadelphia Inquirer
The front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer on Thursday, May 4.