8:28 PM - June 9, 2020
8:28 PM - June 9, 2020

Protesters march in Northeast Philly, draw pro-police counter demonstrators

Protesters demonstrate against racism in Northeast Philadelphia and Justice for George on Tuesday evening. They marched from the Fox Chase School to the War Memorial at the Five Points intersection.
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
Protesters demonstrate against racism in Northeast Philadelphia and Justice for George on Tuesday evening. They marched from the Fox Chase School to the War Memorial at the Five Points intersection.

Several hundred peaceful protesters converged at Cottman, Oxford, and Rising Sun Avenues in the Northeast Tuesday night, calling out racism in neighborhoods that are largely whiter and wealthier than most of the city.

The diverse crowd — middle-aged, older, younger, black, white — blocked traffic for more than an hour as they spoke out.

“Black lives matter!” the crowd shouted as demonstrators made their way from Fox Chase Elementary School to the rally site. Standing near a phalanx of police officers, counterprotesters wearing FOP shirts recorded the marchers and tried to drown them out, chanting “All lives matter!”

Melissa Robbins, an Army veteran and former radio host, said that she took heat for simply daring to organize the protest. Three white men approached her Tuesday morning and told her to “get out of our neighborhood,” then called Robbins, who is black, the N-word.

“If you want a peaceful America, you better get on the right side, because we are not going anywhere,” Robbins said.

George Bezanis, a Fox Chase resident and Philadelphia teacher, said it was especially important to center anti-racism work in the Northeast.

“You hear the hidden racism. You hear those comments — ‘the neighborhood is changing.’ You hear those comments — ‘they’re coming,’” said Bezanis, who is white. “Who is they? You tell me. It’s the same people who fought and died for this country."

— Kristen A. Graham

7:46 PM - June 9, 2020
7:46 PM - June 9, 2020

N.J. corrections officer suspended for allegedly mocking George Floyd’s death

Image from video posted on Instagram showing one man kneeling on the neck of another man mocking the death of George Floyd while a Black Lives Matter march was passing by on Monday in Franklin Township, Gloucester County.
Instagram
Image from video posted on Instagram showing one man kneeling on the neck of another man mocking the death of George Floyd while a Black Lives Matter march was passing by on Monday in Franklin Township, Gloucester County.

A New Jersey corrections officer has been suspended after video was posted online of two men — one kneeling on the other’s neck, apparently mocking the death of George Floyd — at a protest march on Monday in Gloucester County.

The other man involved in the incident was an employee of FedEx, the company confirmed. On Tuesday night, FedEx said in a statement that he no longer worked there because of the video. Earlier in the day the company said the man, who was not identified, had been removed from all work duties and the incident was under internal investigation.

During the march in support of Black Lives Matter, a small group of counterprotesters are seen on the side of the road in Franklin Township with a Trump campaign banner, several American flags and a variation known as the “thin blue line” flag, and a sign that reads: “All Lives Matter.” In a video shared on Instagram, the man kneeling is seen yelling at the protesters as they pass.

— Robert Moran

6:30 PM - June 9, 2020
6:30 PM - June 9, 2020

Police reforms don’t go far enough, one protest leader says

Organizer Faith Williams raises her fist in front of police lined up at police headquarters in Philadelphia on Tuesday afternoon.
HEATHER KHALIFA / Staff Photographer
Organizer Faith Williams raises her fist in front of police lined up at police headquarters in Philadelphia on Tuesday afternoon.

Holding “Black Lives Matter” signs and calling for the defunding of police, a group of more than 100 protesters marched more than four miles from West Philadelphia to Police Headquarters Tuesday.

“What’s the point of funding a force that’s here to oppress us?” a speaker shouted to cheers from the crowd at City Hall.

Reforming the police, as Mayor Jim Kenney pledged to do as the group made its trek, does not go far enough, said protest leader Faith Williams.

“A lot of the money goes into demilitarization,” she said. “So it doesn’t go into things that they need to be good people in the community for public safety. And those funds are taken from our communities first, not from Center City or where there’s a large white population.”

— Oona Goodin-Smith

6:10 PM - June 9, 2020
6:10 PM - June 9, 2020

Philly police inspector Joseph Bologna, accused of assaulting a protester, has been suspended ‘with intent to dismiss,' Outlaw says

Philadelphia police officer Joseph Bologna Jr. turned himself in at 15th District on Levick St. in Northeast Philadelphia to face assault charges on Monday, June 8, 2020. Officer Bologna Jr. is facing aggravated assault charges for allegedly beating a Temple University student with is baton.
Staff Photographer
Philadelphia police officer Joseph Bologna Jr. turned himself in at 15th District on Levick St. in Northeast Philadelphia to face assault charges on Monday, June 8, 2020. Officer Bologna Jr. is facing aggravated assault charges for allegedly beating a Temple University student with is baton.

Joseph Bologna Jr., the high-ranking Philadelphia police official charged with assaulting a protester during demonstrations last week, has been suspended “with intent to dismiss,” police commissioner Danielle Outlaw announced Tuesday.

Her one-line early evening statement didn’t specify the reasons behind the decision, but a spokesperson described it as a procedural move taken when any officer is charged with a crime.

The announcement came a day after Bologna, a 31-year veteran of the force, was arraigned on charges connected to the beating of Temple University student Evan Gorski and just hours after the Inquirer published an account from a third protester who alleged Bologna assaulted her after she was arrested at a protest the same day.

Outlaw had previously removed Bologna from street duty and took away his gun after videos of the staff inspector’s aggressive encounters with demonstrators began circulating on social media last week.

Prosecutors have alleged that in the one involving Gorski, at a June 1 protest along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Bologna struck the Temple University student in the head with his baton while trying to restrain him. Gorski’s lawyer, Jonathan Feinberg, has said that his client sustained injuries requiring 10 staples to his head.

Police union head John McNesby has disputed that account, saying the video shows Bologna hitting Gorski in the shoulder – in line with police policy.

Bologna’s attorney, Fortunato Perri Jr., did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

— Jeremy Roebuck

5:50 PM - June 9, 2020
5:50 PM - June 9, 2020

Photos: West Philadelphia families gather in Clark Park to talk about racism and advocate for justice for George Floyd

— Heather Khalifa

5:45 PM - June 9, 2020
5:45 PM - June 9, 2020

More protesters gather in Northeast Philadelphia to ‘stand up against racism’

Protests calling to end police brutality and advocating for racial equity continued into Tuesday evening, with a few hundred people gathering at Northeast High School and Fox Chase Elementary in Northeast Philadelphia.

The “Stand Up Against Racism” protests, which began at 5:30 p.m., were organized by a Philadelphia teacher. The two groups plan to merge together and march to the Five Points intersection.

“It’s good to be marching against racism here in Fox Chase," said Yaasiyn Muhammad, a Philadelphia School District curriculum specialist. "Lord knows we need it.”

As the group marched and chanted, “Black lives matter,” residents along the path poked their heads out their front doors, with some raising their fists in support and others shaking their heads with frustration.

— Kristen Graham

5:05 PM - June 9, 2020
5:05 PM - June 9, 2020

Read the criminal complaint charging Philly police inspector Joseph Bologna with assaulting a protester

Joseph Bologna Jr., a high-ranking Philadelphia Police inspector, was charged Monday with assaulting a Temple University student during protests last week over the police killing of George Floyd. The case centers on a video posted on social media depicting Bologna and other officers using their batons while aggressively responding to a group of demonstrators.

— Jeremy Roebuck

4:45 PM - June 9, 2020
4:45 PM - June 9, 2020

‘The people have clearly spoken’: Protesters march from West Philadelphia to Police Headquarters

Around 100 protesters marched from West Philadelphia to Center City, stopping at City Hall before continuing on to Police Headquarters, calling for the city to defund the police department.

“The people united will never be divided,” they chanted outside the Roundhouse.

They marched to protest against police brutality and called for the city to defund police department’s budget, abolish the police force, and reinvest in communities.

“When the people show their power, the police have to ask themselves why, is this even worth it,” a speaker said.

Rob Coleman and Amelia Lowe were not happy to hear that Mayor Jim Kenney stopped short of defunding the police Tuesday, and said additional steps must be taken.

“The people have clearly spoken. And the police being so militarized, change has to happen,” Coleman said.

— Oona Goodin-Smith

3:30 PM - June 9, 2020
3:30 PM - June 9, 2020

Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon to introduce Congressional resolution supporting journalists in the face of arrests, police aggression

U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, a Delaware County Democrat, is introducing a Congressional resolution denouncing arrests of journalists and police aggression toward reporters.

The resolution would assert Congress’ support for media reporting on protests and demonstrations and call on law enforcement to protect reporters’ First Amendment rights.

The plan, cosponsored with Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.), the head of the House intelligence committee and leader of the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, would be a statement of support in the wake of numerous incidents in which reporters have been targeted with tear gas, pepper spray or rubber bullets, arrested or physically struck by law enforcement.

Among the many incidents mentioned is the case of a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter who was recently arrested while covering protests in the city, but later released without any charges.

“A free press is the lifeblood of democracy and the media’s role in covering recent protests calling for racial justice has been critical to holding the government, at all levels, accountable,” Scanlon said in a news release. "Assaults on members of the press or attempts to limit their ability to report on government actions are unacceptable in a free society.”

The two lawmakers were circulating the resolution Tuesday to gather support and plan to formally introduce it Thursday.

Jonathan Tamari

3:00 PM - June 9, 2020
3:00 PM - June 9, 2020

West Philadelphia protesters are marching from Baltimore Avenue to City Hall

Under the scorching Philadelphia summer sun, a crowd of more than 100 protesters gathered at 49th Street and Baltimore Avenue Tuesday to begin a march into Center City, rallying against police brutality in the wake of the death of George Floyd, who died after a police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

To the beat of a bucket drum and tambourine, demonstrators began the trek, shouting “Black Lives Matter” and “no cops, no KKK, no fascist USA." The group is marching from West Philadelphia to Center City, making stops at Rittenhouse Square, City Hall, and police headquarters.

Faith Williams, 22, of North Philadelphia organized the march, with a focusing on abolishing police.

“I wanted to change the narrative so that when politicians start making change, they’re not using words like ‘reform,’” Williams said. “We’re talking about abolition. Some things can’t be reformed.”

Tuesday was the first time Williams, a violinist, said she ever organized a protest.

“People with our black and brown communities, who [police brutality] disproportionately affects the most, are sometimes afraid to amplify their own voices, they think you have to be associated with someone,” she said. “We just want to promote community, so we felt like we had to do it.”

— Oona Goodin-Smith

2:50 PM - June 9, 2020
2:50 PM - June 9, 2020

New Jersey protesters are now legally permitted to gather outside in groups of any number

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy listens during his daily coronavirus news conference at the War Memorial in Trenton, N.J.
Chris Pedota / AP
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy listens during his daily coronavirus news conference at the War Memorial in Trenton, N.J.

Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday lifted the limits on outdoor gatherings from 25 to 100, but made an exception for “First Amendment-protected activities such as political protests of any persuasion,” as well as for religious services.

The move comes after the governor attended recent protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died when a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Murphy received backlash for condoning and participating in these demonstrations after his administration had cited people who organized protests of the coronavirus lockdown.

Murphy said he moved to officially allow protests not because of the backlash, but because his administration wanted to be fair in its enforcement of executive orders.

Last week, Murphy defended anti-racism protesters, saying “It’s one thing to protest what day nail salons are opening. It’s another thing to come out in peaceful protests, overwhelmingly, for a man who was killed right before our eyes … I put those into different orbits.”

The governor has said he encourages protesters to wear masks and practice social distancing, as well as to get tested for the coronavirus after participating in demonstrations.

— Erin McCarthy

2:05 PM - June 9, 2020
2:05 PM - June 9, 2020

N.J. Gov. Murphy says he doesn’t endorse defunding the police

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said he understood why protesters are pushing for police defunding in light of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police. But he didn’t endorse the move himself.

“I recognize the passion around this right now, around the notion of defunding police,” the governor said. “To me, it’s 'What’s the ultimate end state? What are we trying to get to?’ I think we are trying to get to law enforcement and community relations that are defined by words like transparency and accountability and trust.”

He added: “The budget screams out, ‘What do you care about?’ It’s got to be education, healthcare, all the things we do to lift our communities up.”

— Erin McCarthy

2:00 PM - June 9, 2020
2:00 PM - June 9, 2020

Kenney will eliminate $19 million increase to the PPD’s budget

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.
ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / Staff Photographer
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.

Mayor Jim Kenney announced Tuesday that he will eliminate a $19 million increase to Philadelphia’s police department budget and take other steps toward reform, including creating a permanent civilian oversight commission, increasing transparency, and diversifying the police force.

Kenney defended his track record since he took office in 2016, but said he has listened to protesters, activists, and elected officials since protests began in Philadelphia 10 days ago over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

“This moment is a beginning,” Kenney said.

The city will also seek changes to the police contract – such as requiring officers to live in the city – make contract negotiations more transparent, seek reforms through state legislation, and change internal affairs investigations, Kenney said.

“This dialogue and process won’t be easy, but for the first time in our nation’s stories history, I hope that we have real, honest conversations about race and policing,” Kenney said in a written statement.

The $19 million figure includes the $14 million in the revised budget, on top of $5 million in the first draft of the budget. Kenney did not specify Tuesday what he would cut from the police budget to reduce the department’s funding, saying only that he would work with City Council to do so. Currently, 96% of the $760 million he proposed for the department in the next fiscal year would cover payroll.

Kenney said he would reduce the department to its funding levels for the current fiscal year, in which the city budgeted $741 million for the police department. The department is expected to end the year over budget, according to budget projections, spending nearly $749 million.

And the city has agreed to a one-year contract extension with the police union that includes raises for officers.

— Laura McCrystal

2:00 PM - June 9, 2020
2:00 PM - June 9, 2020

Kenney says he is ‘not an advocate’ for defunding the police

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said he “is not an advocate” of “defunding police,” although he acknowledged Tuesday that polls show a vast majority of Americans are unhappy with law enforcement’s response to protests.

“What we saw around the country last week was a disgrace when it came to some police responses, including here, so that’s part of the issue that needs to be addressed directly,” he said after visiting a COVID-19 testing site at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church.

“The other part is — what do police do? What is their role in society? Is it responding to mental health issues? Responding to domestic disputes? Responding to high-level crime? We’ve got to figure it out.”

Councilperson Cherelle Parker, who also attended the press conference, which was unrelated to policing, said her constituents in the 9th District do not want officers to disappear, they want accountability.

"They are talking about accountability. They are talking about an independent oversight board that has teeth,” she said. “We just need to make sure that when they come, there’s transparency and there’s accountability and there is no abuse and use of force.”

— Wendy Ruderman

1:55 PM - June 9, 2020
1:55 PM - June 9, 2020

Police Athletic League removes Frank Rizzo’s name from community center

Frank Rizzo at the Israel Day celebration at Dilworth Plaza in 1983, just before losing the primary election to W. Wilson Goode. He lost again to Goode four years later.
File photograph
Frank Rizzo at the Israel Day celebration at Dilworth Plaza in 1983, just before losing the primary election to W. Wilson Goode. He lost again to Goode four years later.

The Police Athletic League of Philadelphia last week removed former police commissioner and mayor Frank Rizzo’s name from its community center in Port Richmond, saying it wants “to ensure all children and families feel welcome.”

It’s the third example of a public or quasi-public entity distancing itself from the former mayor, whose tenure as head of police in Philadelphia was marked by a law-and-order attitude that manifested in police brutality aimed at black communities, often with little accountability.

What makes PAL’s move unique is the group’s affiliation with the same police department Rizzo led in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

“We want there to be as few barriers or concerns on the minds of children or families coming to this PAL center or any other PAL center,” said Ted Qualli, executive director of PAL of Philadelphia.

The officials removed the sign that read “Frank L. Rizzo PAL Center” on Thursday shortly after the vote of the executive committee, made up of about 20 community members and business leaders. It’s now called “the 24th PAL," as it’s within the 24th police district.

— Anna Orso

1:45 PM - June 9, 2020
1:45 PM - June 9, 2020

Clark Park rally gives families an opportunity to speak about racial injustice with their children

Asali Soloman, center, stands with her sons, Mkale Friedman, right, and Adebayo Friedman, during a rally for justice for George Floyd and victims of police brutality, geared towards families and children, inside Clark Park in West Philadelphia on Tuesday, June 09, 2020.
HEATHER KHALIFA / Staff Photographer
Asali Soloman, center, stands with her sons, Mkale Friedman, right, and Adebayo Friedman, during a rally for justice for George Floyd and victims of police brutality, geared towards families and children, inside Clark Park in West Philadelphia on Tuesday, June 09, 2020.

Dozens of families gathered in Clark Park Tuesday afternoon to rally for justice for George Floyd. They embraced each other on the pavement, or sprawled out on blankets in the grass, creating a relaxed atmosphere focused on talking to children about speaking up and out against racism.

Tiffany Jenkins, her partner Jared, and their 2-year-old son Jonah made a sign together that read: “This is 4: My dad, my brothers, my husband, my son, myself.”

“Knowing that we have to prepare for this in the future is daunting,” Tiffany Jenkins said, referring to future conversations on race and injustice with their son.

“It’s kind of a balance of breaking their innocence and keeping them informed,” Jared added.

Individuals and families stand and listen to speeches during a rally for justice for George Floyd and victims of police brutality, geared towards families and children, inside Clark Park in West Philadelphia on Tuesday, June 09, 2020.
HEATHER KHALIFA / Staff Photographer
Individuals and families stand and listen to speeches during a rally for justice for George Floyd and victims of police brutality, geared towards families and children, inside Clark Park in West Philadelphia on Tuesday, June 09, 2020.

Growing up, Erin Bailey and Freeda Peoples said they didn’t have many conversations about race with their families. They attended Tuesday’s rally with their child, Zeda.

“Even if, as adults you’re in a place where you’re just learning,” Peoples said, “that’s OK. You can learn together.”

Kea Banks attended with her two children to show support for the cause. She said her family watched the Sesame Street special together to talk about racism and the past week’s events. The Clark Park rally gave them another opportunity to talk.

— Oona Goodin-Smith

12:40 PM - June 9, 2020
12:40 PM - June 9, 2020

Photos: Philly sanitation workers rally for safer work conditions

— Jessica Griffin

12:00 PM - June 9, 2020
12:00 PM - June 9, 2020

Watch live: Funeral service for George Floyd in Houston underway

The casket of George Floyd is placed in the chapel during a funeral service for Floyd at the Fountain of Praise church, Tuesday, June 9, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, Pool)
David J. Phillip / AP
The casket of George Floyd is placed in the chapel during a funeral service for Floyd at the Fountain of Praise church, Tuesday, June 9, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, Pool)

HOUSTON — George Floyd’s body arrived at a Houston church Tuesday for a private funeral, to be followed by burial, capping six days of mourning for the black man whose death inspired a global reckoning over police brutality and racial injustice.

Floyd, 46, was to be laid to rest next to his mother in the suburb of Pearland. He cried out for his mother as a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee on his neck May 25.

A livestream for his funeral began at noon at Houston’s Fountain of Praise Church and is now underway. The service began with a gospel performance by Rhonda Mclemore and the Houston Ensemble.

About 6,000 people attended a public memorial Monday in Houston, where Floyd grew up. Under a blazing Texas sun, mourners wearing T-shirts with his picture or “I Can’t Breathe” — the words he uttered as he lay pinned to the pavement for what prosecutors say was 8 minutes, 46 seconds — waited for hours to pay their respects. Floyd’s body lay in an open gold-colored casket.

— Associated Press

11:30 AM - June 9, 2020
11:30 AM - June 9, 2020

Families rally in Clark Park to support the Black Lives Matter movement

Melvina Williams of Diva Mom speaks during a rally for justice for George Floyd and victims of police brutality, geared towards families and children, inside Clark Park in West Philadelphia on Tuesday, June 09, 2020.
HEATHER KHALIFA / Staff Photographer
Melvina Williams of Diva Mom speaks during a rally for justice for George Floyd and victims of police brutality, geared towards families and children, inside Clark Park in West Philadelphia on Tuesday, June 09, 2020.

Dozens of families gathered in Clark Park Tuesday afternoon to call for justice for George Floyd, the unarmed black man who died in Minneapolis police custody, marking the 11th-straight day of protests across the city.

The “Justice for George - Family Edition” rally began at 11:30 a.m. in the West Philadelphia park. Families gathered with signs and their children in strollers.

“If my life matters, make some noise,” said speaker Mike West. “If black lives matter, make some noise. But for all the noise George Floyd made, they still hurt him.”

“This is not a black issue, it’s not a white issue, it’s a human issue,” another speaker said. “You can start small by speaking up when your aunt says something racist at a dinner table and telling her it’s not right."

Children held their own signs to show support. Four-year-old Abdul Kane of Southwest Philadelphia stood in front of the crowd, holding his homemade sign high.

“Black lives matter!” he cheered.

Abdul Kane, 4, of Southwest Philadelphia stood in front of the protesters at Clark Park Tuesday, holding his homemade sign high. “Black lives matter!” he said.
Oona Goodin-Smith
Abdul Kane, 4, of Southwest Philadelphia stood in front of the protesters at Clark Park Tuesday, holding his homemade sign high. “Black lives matter!” he said.

— Oona Goodin-Smith

10:55 AM - June 9, 2020
10:55 AM - June 9, 2020

Sanitation workers rally at Love Park for better protections at work

Attendees at a rally and protest to support sanitation workers who are requesting hazard pay and PPE, at LOVE Park, in Philadelphia, June 09, 2020.
JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer
Attendees at a rally and protest to support sanitation workers who are requesting hazard pay and PPE, at LOVE Park, in Philadelphia, June 09, 2020.

About 150 sanitation workers, other city workers, and their supporters gathered at Love Park Tuesday afternoon to rally for better personal protective equipment, hazard pay, and coronavirus testing for Philadelphia’s municipal sanitation workers, who are predominantly black.

“When city workers are under attack, what do we do? Stand up and fight back!” the demonstrators chanted as about a dozen police officers stand by watching.

While the rally, which was organized by union AFSCME District Council Local 427, was not explicitly focused on police violence or Black Lives Matter, its timing made it hard to ignore the parallels. The rally called attention to the fact that workers’ rights — especially black workers’ rights — are part of nationwide protests that seek to protect the lives of black Americans.

One sanitation worker at the rally described the difficulties of social distancing on the truck. He said he couldn’t work for a month after being diagnosed with COVID-19, which was hard because “we make most of our money on overtime."

Omar Salaam, business agent for the sanitation workers union, said the city tried to intimidate workers by threatening to fire them if they took an unauthorized absence to attend the rally. He printed out the letter from Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams.

Councilmembers Helen Gym and Kenyatta Johnson made appearances and talked about not forgetting that sanitation workers, as essential workers, continue risking their lives to clean the city.

— Juliana Feliciano Reyes

10:45 AM - June 9, 2020
10:45 AM - June 9, 2020

Chef at popular Queen Village restaurant leaving after racist social media posts

Hungry Pigeon co-owners Pat O'Malley (left) and Scott Schroeder (right) inside the Queen Village restaurant. Schroeder announced he will split from the business after remarks made on his personal social media account sparked backlash.
CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
Hungry Pigeon co-owners Pat O'Malley (left) and Scott Schroeder (right) inside the Queen Village restaurant. Schroeder announced he will split from the business after remarks made on his personal social media account sparked backlash.

Scott Schroeder, chef and co-owner of Hungry Pigeon, indicated he will part ways with the popular Queen Village restaurant after former staff denounced “his anti-black rhetoric as well as his recent lashing out at former employees" last week, leading to broader backlash in the Philadelphia community.

Employees at the restaurant cited a string of posts on Schroeder’s now-deleted Instagram account, including one that read “Thank you Black America. You had me at hip hop and fried chicken.” It also described the chef disparaging former employees and protestors on social media, which staffers wrote did not come as a surprise “given his bullyish behavior in the workplace.”

“I need to get away from the restaurant industry,” Schroeder said Monday. “I don’t know if that’s forever. I’m going to think about all that’s happened. For now, I’m going to do something more meaningful and helpful to underprivileged people.”

— Jenn Ladd

9:28 AM - June 9, 2020
9:28 AM - June 9, 2020

National Guard troops remain in Philadelphia, unclear when they’ll leave

Members of the Pennsylvania National Guard stand outside the Municipal Services Building in downtown Philadelphia Tuesday morning.
Alejandro A. Alvarez / Staff Photographer
Members of the Pennsylvania National Guard stand outside the Municipal Services Building in downtown Philadelphia Tuesday morning.

Members of the Pennsylvania National Guard remained stationed outside City Hall and the Municipal Services Building Tuesday morning, even as peaceful protests throughout the city have begun to decrease in size.

The National Guard was deployed to Philadelphia in the early-morning hours on June 1, following a weekend of violence and looting. Since then, protests have been overwhelmingly peaceful.

“We continue to evaluate this on a day-to-day basis,” a spokesperson for the mayor’s office said Tuesday.

Last week, Mayor Jim Kenney said troops have been deployed to free up police officers to support demonstrations and respond to 911 calls, among other things.

“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 during a Wednesday news conference. “They’ll leave when we no longer need them.”

— Rob Tornoe

8:51 AM - June 9, 2020
8:51 AM - June 9, 2020

Ex-cop who killed black teen loses job at Rowan University

Students walk through campus at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J.
JOSE F. MORENO / Staff Photographer
Students walk through campus at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J.

Following a Change.org petition, a retired New Jersey police officer who killed a black teenager 26 years ago will lose his job at Rowan University.

Peter Amico, the university’s director of the university’s emergency management office, fatally shot 14-year-old Eltarmaine “L.T.” Sanders on April 17, 1994. Police said Sanders charged Amico with a knife, but other witnesses — including the teen’s mother and cousin — disputed the officer’s account, sparking nightly vigils and protests.

A grand jury declined to indict Amico, and the Department of Justice chose not to take action on possible civil rights violations. Amico retired from the Glassboro Police Department in 2009.

On Monday night, Rowan University President Ali Houshmand said in a statement that amid a “national spotlight on social justice and police matters,” the school will not reappoint Amico at its Wednesday Board of Trustees meeting.

“Given the circumstances of Amico’s employment prior to serving at the University and the necessarily painstaking evaluation of Rowan’s institutional commitment to racial justice and equity, Amico’s employment will be discontinued,” Houshmand said in a statement.

“As a University, we believe black lives matter. We are looking hard at our own organization, our policies, structure and culture. We found we have work to do,” Houshmand added. “I am sure some of it will be more difficult and uncomfortable than we can imagine. We will be transparent in our transformation and look for opportunities to engage with the University community to bring about much-needed change."

Amico could not immediately be reached for comment.

— Rob Tornoe

8:00 AM - June 9, 2020
8:00 AM - June 9, 2020

Poll: Big majorities support protests, say police need to change

Alicia Zapata (left) and May Cronin give thumbs up and cheer, from an apartment, for the Black Lives Matter protesters as they march along Montgomery Ave. in Ardmore.
ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer
Alicia Zapata (left) and May Cronin give thumbs up and cheer, from an apartment, for the Black Lives Matter protesters as they march along Montgomery Ave. in Ardmore.

Americans overwhelmingly support the nationwide protests that have taken place in Philadelphia and elsewhere since the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis, and they say police forces have not done enough to ensure that blacks are treated equally to whites, according to a Washington Post-Schar School poll.

More than 2 in 3 Americans (69%) now say the killing of Floyd represents a broader problem within law enforcement, compared with fewer than 1 in 3 (29%) who say the Minneapolis killing is an isolated incident. Six years ago, following police killings of unarmed black men in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York, just 43% described those deaths as indicative of broader problems in policing.

Overall, 74% of Americans say they support the protests that have been carried out in cities and towns across the country. 87% of Democrats saying they support them, along with 76% of independents. Among Republicans, the majority — 53% — also back the protests.

“[President Trump] is way on the wrong side of the growing national consensus that evidences a big shift in attitudes among whites, including Republicans,” said Mark Rozell, dean of the Schar School. “Even the GOP consensus is splintering.”

— Washington Post

7:30 AM - June 9, 2020
7:30 AM - June 9, 2020

Petition calls on Penn to end support for ‘militarized’ policing

Benjamin Franklin statue at the University of Pennsylvania's Locust Walk.
Michael Bryant / File Photograph
Benjamin Franklin statue at the University of Pennsylvania's Locust Walk.

A petition calling on the University of Pennsylvania to end what organizers call a campus “police state” has surpassed 10,000 signatures Sunday.

Toorjo Ghose, an associate professor in the School of Social Policy and Practice, started the Change.org petition against “militarized” policing after the May 25 death of George Floyd, who died when a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck for almost nine minutes.

The petition calls out practices including “racially biased surveillance, reporting, arrest practices, the advocacy of militarized models of campus policing, and the implementation of policing measures that cut Penn off from the communities surrounding it.”

— Valerie Russ

7:00 AM - June 9, 2020
7:00 AM - June 9, 2020

More demonstrations planned in and around Philadelphia Tuesday

While taking a knee to honor George Floyd, Philadelphia Sheriff Rochelle Bilal, left, listens to 11-year-old Isaac Gardner Jr., speak about injustice near the criminal Justice Center during the Defenders March on Monday.
STEVEN M. FALK / Staff Photographer
While taking a knee to honor George Floyd, Philadelphia Sheriff Rochelle Bilal, left, listens to 11-year-old Isaac Gardner Jr., speak about injustice near the criminal Justice Center during the Defenders March on Monday.

On what will be the 11th-straight day of protests in and around Philadelphia, several demonstrations are planned across the city Tuesday. They include:

— Rob Tornoe

6:30 AM - June 9, 2020
6:30 AM - June 9, 2020

Philly City Council calls for police reforms; public defenders march

Keir Bradford-Grey, chief defender, speaks to the protesters near the criminal justice center with city hall in the background during the Defenders March, Monday, June 8, 2020
STEVEN M. FALK / Staff Photographer
Keir Bradford-Grey, chief defender, speaks to the protesters near the criminal justice center with city hall in the background during the Defenders March, Monday, June 8, 2020

A few hundred demonstrators took to city streets for a 10th day on Monday, with Philadelphia public defenders and other supporters walking as part of coordinated marches by public defenders nationwide. It was the second night in a row that Philadelphia did not impose a curfew.

As Democrats in Harrisburg attempted to persuade their Republican counterparts to allow police reform legislation to move forward, Philadelphia City Council called on Mayor Jim Kenney to enact 15 specific changes in the city’s police department, including “fully resourced, independent police oversight” and changing the police arbitration process.

The protesters marching with the Defender Association of Philadelphia asked the city to invest in the Public Defender’s Office instead of the Police Department, give public defenders overtime pay, end solitary confinement in juvenile detention, and end mass incarceration.

As protests and pressure continue across the country in the wake of Floyd’s death, and a majority of the Minneapolis City Council pledged to disband that city’s police department and create a new system, Democrats in Congress introduced a bill aimed at national reform. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Joe Biden said the Democratic presidential candidate supports reforms but not defunding police.

A petition against “militarized” policing at the University of Pennsylvania, calling on the school to end what organizers called a campus “police state,” gained more than 10,000 signatures in the last week. The university disagreed with the petition’s premise, and a spokesperson Monday said the school has “one of the finest university police departments in the country.”

— Justine McDaniel, Ellie Rushing and Sean Collins Walsh

6:00 AM - June 9, 2020
6:00 AM - June 9, 2020

Today’s front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer

The front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer for Tuesday, May 8, 2020.
Philadelphia Inquirer
The front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer for Tuesday, May 8, 2020.