8:30 PM - June 7, 2020
Breaking
8:30 PM - June 7, 2020

Latest Recap: The ninth day of protests set off by George Floyd’s killing proceeded and ended peacefully

Protests ignited by the police killing of George Floyd continued across the Philadelphia region for a ninth straight day on Sunday, all of them peaceful and smaller than during previous days of contention and violence.

The city ended its nightly curfew for the first time in eight days. Hundreds gathered in Malcom X Park in West Philadelphia, dancing as musicians sang, “We are our liberation.” And the controversial, three-story mural of former Mayor Frank Rizzo disappeared from South Philadelphia, covered by a fresh coat of gray paint.

“I hope that people who were offended by it find some peace,” said Larry Fein, 52, who was shopping there.

Gorgeous, sunny skies and comfortable temperatures presided over a lower-key set of demonstrations on Sunday, the day after thousands in Philadelphia joined a massive, peaceful protest to demand an end to racism and to declare that Black Lives Matter.

Read more of our coverage from today:

6:10 PM - June 7, 2020
6:10 PM - June 7, 2020

'This town is changing’: Gloucester City holds a Black Lives Matter protest march unlikely there years ago

Gloucester City police chief Brian Morrell (left) kneels as #BlackLivesMatter protesters read the names of African Americans killed by police and gun violence during a peaceful protest Sunday.
Jason Nark
Gloucester City police chief Brian Morrell (left) kneels as #BlackLivesMatter protesters read the names of African Americans killed by police and gun violence during a peaceful protest Sunday.

GLOUCESTER CITY — A small creek is all that separates this city under the Walt Whitman Bridge from Camden to the north.

When he was a child growing up in Camden, though, Isaiah M. Conteh was told not to venture into Gloucester City, that whites there don’t like blacks, and so he treated that creek and highway bridges that span it as an invisible wall.

On Sunday afternoon, Conteh stood outside the Gloucester City library with about 400 other people for the culmination of a 90-minute Black Lives Matter protest and march that began at a park on the Delaware River.

“I think it was lit,” Conteh, now a Gloucester City resident, said. “It shows this town is changing.”

Vanessa Lamb, 21, and Tajee Almon, 26, both Gloucester City High School graduates, organized Sunday afternoon’s protest after seeing so many others popping up in small, suburban towns in South Jersey.

— Jason Nark

6:05 PM - June 7, 2020
6:05 PM - June 7, 2020

Protesters converge on Montco official’s home for calling BLM a ‘hate’ group

Protesters gather outside the Plymouth Meeting home of Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale on Sunday afternoon, calling for him to resign after he called Black Lives Matter a hate group.
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
Protesters gather outside the Plymouth Meeting home of Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale on Sunday afternoon, calling for him to resign after he called Black Lives Matter a hate group.

Demonstrators gathered late Sunday afternoon at the home of Montgomery County Commissioner Joseph C. Gale, a Republican, who angered activists last week by calling Black Lives Matter “a radical left-wing hate group” that perpetrates “urban domestic terror."

More than 100 protesters gathered in the road in front of his home on a leafy suburban street in Plymouth Meeting, which had been closed to vehicles in anticipation of the demonstration, holding signs reading “How Many Weren’t Filmed” and “Gale’s Gotta Go.”

Monica D’Antonio, a Montgomery County Community College English professor and Norristown Area School District board member who joined the protest, said that participants wanted Gale to resign for the comments he made after protests turned violent last weekend in Philadelphia.

“His comments are unacceptable, he is unacceptable, and he doesn’t represent the people of this county,” D’Antonio said.

— Jacob Adelman, Tom Gralish

5:33 PM - June 7, 2020
5:33 PM - June 7, 2020

Center City march ends peacefully, protesters advocate for inmates

A protest at the Philadelphia Police Headquarters, which started at Eastern State Penitentiary, called on Governor Tom Wolf to release prisoners because of COVID on Sunday, June 7, 2020.
MONICA HERNDON / Staff Photographer
A protest at the Philadelphia Police Headquarters, which started at Eastern State Penitentiary, called on Governor Tom Wolf to release prisoners because of COVID on Sunday, June 7, 2020.

The protest that marched through Center City and ended at the steps of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office ended peacefully, with the group dispersing around 5 p.m.

Within minutes, the area was all but empty.

Shortly before, the protesters advocated for inmates who they said had tested positive for COVID-19 and not received adequate treatment.

Commonwealth data reported that among all of the Department of Corrections’ institutions, 300 inmates had tested positive for the coronavirus, 2,806 had tested negative, and nine had died. One hundred seventy inmates were awaiting their test results, and 30 inmates who tested positive were on parole.

Inmates at SCI Huntingdon in Central Pennsylvania overwhelmingly reported the greatest number of inmates who tested positive — 169, making up 56% of the total number of positive cases in commonwealth correctional facilities.

There was a total of 200 prison staff who tested positive for the virus, commonwealth figures showed. The most cases originated from SCI Phoenix in Collegeville, with 78 cases. SCI Huntingdon was next, with 54 cases. One person — a Phoenix employee — had died.

— Katie Park, Allison Steele

4:42 PM - June 7, 2020
4:42 PM - June 7, 2020

Few hundred continue peaceful protest through Center City

Protesters walking by artwork on the boarded up 7-11 by City Hall Sunday, June 7, 2020.
MONICA HERNDON / Staff Photographer
Protesters walking by artwork on the boarded up 7-11 by City Hall Sunday, June 7, 2020.

The peaceful protest, about a few hundred strong, arrived at the door of the Philadelphia District Attorney Office by late Sunday afternoon.

The group was gathered on 8th Street and resumed their march after 4 p.m., turning away from the police barricade that was set up near Police Headquarters. They headed west along Arch Street, while police blocked off nearby streets.

Marchers cheered and chanted, holding signs like, “Free the Vulnerable, Free Them All” and “White People for Black Lives + Black Liberation.” Some have skateboards from the earlier protest, many wore masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus.

— Katie Park, Allison Steele, Patricia Madej

3:58 PM - June 7, 2020
3:58 PM - June 7, 2020

Gallery: Southwest Philadelphia church sermonizes in looted shopping center

The Salt and Light Church holds an outdoor sermon at the looted Woodland Village Plaza in Southwest Philadelphia on Sunday, June 7, 2020.

— Yong Kim

3:25 PM - June 7, 2020
3:25 PM - June 7, 2020

Hundreds gather, sing at Malcolm X Park in West Philadelphia

In West Philadelphia, hundreds hang out at Malcolm X Park for a jam session.

“We are our liberation,” they sing.

There was a light police presence at the park, with four bike cops leaning on the park railing watching the crowd.

— Juliana Reyes

3:21 PM - June 7, 2020
3:21 PM - June 7, 2020

Mike Africa Jr.: ‘We had support but it was not like this’

Mike Africa Jr. of MOVE, 41, holding a sign with a photo of Mumia Abu-Jamal, said he was heartened by the ninth straight days of protests.

He told the crowd gathered at Eastern State Penitentiary that when he was younger, “we had support but it was not like this.”

In an interview he said he hoped the protests continued.

“Slavery didn’t end just because some old fat white men just decided they were going to release the slaves," he said. “It ended because people fought and worked hard and died and struggled for that to happen.”

While the region is still experiencing the coronavirus pandemic, it “seems that the police is a pandemic too,” he said.

— Juliana Reyes

2:54 PM - June 7, 2020
2:54 PM - June 7, 2020

Biden: Rizzo ‘should have never had a statue,’ commends Kenney for taking it down

Joe Biden — a longtime critic of former Philadelphia mayor Frank Rizzo — said a statue never should have been erected in his honor and on Sunday commended city leaders for removing the likeness.

He told The Inquirer in a statement that “Frank Rizzo should have never had a statue in his honor in the first place. Mayor Kenney and local officials were right to remove it.”

Biden’s criticism of Rizzo goes back to May 1975 when, as a senator speaking at a Jefferson Jackson Day Democratic Party dinner, Biden went off on Rizzo, comparing him to Richard Nixon and George Wallace, “men who stand for everything that is wrong in the country.”

— Julia Terruso

2:41 PM - June 7, 2020
2:41 PM - June 7, 2020

Protesters march to Philadelphia Police Headquarters

The demonstration that began at Eastern State Penitentiary headed toward Center City by late afternoon, with hundreds denouncing the police with chants and signs.

The protest stopped at the Philadelphia Police Headquarters at Seventh and Race Streets, with hundreds shouting “hands up, don’t shoot.”

Dozens of Philadelphia police and members of the National Guard, wearing plastic face shields, stood behind a metal barricade.

Some police carried batons under their arms, though the protest remained peaceful. Police remained silent and motionless during the protest.

“Who do you serve?" Protesters shouted at police and the National Guard. "Who do you protect?”

— Katie Park

1:55 PM - June 7, 2020
1:55 PM - June 7, 2020

Hundreds pack Eastern State Penitentiary for ‘Free People Strike’

Protest starting at Eastern State Penitentiary where there is a call on Governor Wolf to release prisoners because of COVID on Sunday, June 7, 2020.
MONICA HERNDON / Staff Photographer
Protest starting at Eastern State Penitentiary where there is a call on Governor Wolf to release prisoners because of COVID on Sunday, June 7, 2020.

Hundreds packed the 2100 block of Fairmount Avenue for a “Free People Strike” at Eastern State Penitentiary Sunday afternoon.

Demonstrators clapped and shouted, “ain’t no power like the power of the people cause the power of the people don’t stop.” They cheered for the removal of the mural and statue of former Philadelphia Mayor and Police Commissioner Frank Rizzo.

Caroline Seibel, 24, a furloughed museum worker, was spotted with a sign highlighting Mayor Jim Kenney’s revised coronavirus-era budget. Seibel heard about cuts to the city’s arts office and was shocked to find out how much the city spent on police.

“You can see where the city’s priorities are,” she said.

There were echoes of the “Abolish ICE” movement at Sunday’s event. One sign read, “Human beings don’t belong in cages. Don’t let them die there.”

Protester Alexandria Phillips, concerned over coronavirus transmission in a larger crowd, said she opted for Sunday’s smaller demonstration instead of Saturday’s that drew thousands.

“It goes under the radar that black trans men and women die a lot,” Phillips said. “They’re really vulnerable for being killed and I think that there needs to be more publicity about it.”

The “Free People Strike” is hosted by Philly for REAL Justice, Human Rights Coalition PA, Black Lives Matter Philly, and Coalition to Abolish Death By Incarceration, according to its Facebook event page.

“We rise up to protest the death of George Floyd, a man who was killed during an arrest for an alleged forged $20 check,” the event page reads. “We must do the same for the people in prisons who have been terrorized by state violence for years!”

— Juliana Reyes, Katie Park, and Patricia Madej

1:15 PM - June 7, 2020
1:15 PM - June 7, 2020

Video: Hundreds march through Gloucester City during ‘Black Lives Matter’ protest

Hundreds snaked the streets in Gloucester City by Sunday afternoon.

Tajee Almon, 26, led the march with shouts of “No justice, no peace. No racist police.” ‪Moments before, Gloucester City Police Chief Brian Morrell knelt as #BlackLivesMattters protesters read the names of black lives killed by police. ‬

“Gloucester City is a good city," Mayor Dan Spencer told the crowd outside St. Mary’s Church. “You are all welcome here.”

— Jason Nark, Patricia Madej

This post has been updated.

1:00 PM - June 7, 2020
1:00 PM - June 7, 2020

'I’m enlightened’: Italian Market shoppers, shopkeepers react after Rizzo mural painted over

A crew from Mural Arts finishes painting over the Frank Rizzo mural on 9th Street in Philadelphia, Pa. on June 7, 2020.
DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
A crew from Mural Arts finishes painting over the Frank Rizzo mural on 9th Street in Philadelphia, Pa. on June 7, 2020.

Shoppers visited the Italian Market Sunday to find a major change: The three-story visage of former Mayor Frank Rizzo that had long stared down the street from one of its busiest corners was gone.

“It was such an assault on the eyes,” Susan DiPronio, 70, said of the mural.

Janet Anastasi, an owner of Anastasi Seafood at Ninth Street and Washington Avenue, said after the mural came down Sunday that she had long been working in its shadow without giving adequate thought to Rizzo’s legacy for members of the city’s disenfranchised communities.

She said she was grateful for the outpouring of frustration this week that led to its removal because it forced her to confront that legacy.

“I’m enlightened,” Anastasi said. “I think we all are.”

— Jacob Adelman

12:10 AM - June 7, 2020
12:10 AM - June 7, 2020

Demonstrations underway in Philadelphia, Gloucester City

Protesters skateboarded — a few walked, leagues behind those on wheels — and met at a skate park adjacent to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Sunday, June 7, 2020.
Katie Park
Protesters skateboarded — a few walked, leagues behind those on wheels — and met at a skate park adjacent to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Sunday, June 7, 2020.

By Sunday afternoon, “Black Lives Matter” demonstrations were well underway in the region.

In Center City, protesters set off from LOVE Park 10 minutes earlier than expected, with hundreds on skateboards rumbling over the asphalt toward Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighborhood. Some held signs with “Black Lives Matter” drawn on cardboard, while other posters demanded justice for Breonna Taylor and other black victims killed at the hands of police.

Approximately 200 people have filed into Proprietor's Park on the Delaware River in Gloucester City, N.J. for a Black Lives Matter protest.
JASON NARK / Staff Photographer
Approximately 200 people have filed into Proprietor's Park on the Delaware River in Gloucester City, N.J. for a Black Lives Matter protest.

In New Jersey, approximately 200 people have filed into Proprietor’s Park on the Delaware River in Gloucester City for a Black Lives Matter protest. The event was organized by Vanessa Lamb, who grew up in the town.

“There’s a lot of people who don’t believe in the Black Lives Matter movement and that’s why we’re here,” Vanessa Lamb, 21, organizer of the protest in Gloucester City, New Jersey today.

— Katie Park and Jason Nark

11:57 AM - June 7, 2020
11:57 AM - June 7, 2020

Dozens of doctors, nurses rally at the shuttered Hahnemann

A group of over 70 doctors, medical workers and protesters marched from Hahnemann Hospital to City Hall in Philadelphia, Pa. on Sunday, June 7, 2020.
MONICA HERNDON / Staff Photographer
A group of over 70 doctors, medical workers and protesters marched from Hahnemann Hospital to City Hall in Philadelphia, Pa. on Sunday, June 7, 2020.

Dozens of doctors, nurses, and supporters rallied at the shuttered Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia Sunday morning, decrying what they called “alarming and unacceptable” racial disparities in health care.

“Today is just a start in trying to rebuild trust between the black community of Philadelphia and the medical system,” said organizer Claire Bogan, who was a psychiatry resident at Hahnemann before being displaced last summer. “As physicians we need to come out of our ivory towers, come down to the street, and show patients that we are present and we are protesting with them and by their sides.”

Their rally comes after a week of protests and marches over the the death of George Floyd.

African Americans in Philadelphia have been more than twice as likely as whites to be infected with the coronavirus. For Bogan and others at the rally, the shell of the 100-year-old Hahnemann hospital is symbolic of the problem because it served largely low-income or indigent patients, many of them minorities.

It closed last summer, about 18 months after Tenet Healthcare Corp. sold it to California businessman Joel Freedman, who was unable to stanch years of losses.

— Harold Brubaker

11:28 AM - June 7, 2020
11:28 AM - June 7, 2020

Largely peaceful protests against police brutality march on nationwide

WASHINGTON — Massive protests against police brutality nationwide capped a week that began in chaos but ended with largely peaceful expressions that organizers hope will sustain their movement.

Saturday’s marches featured few reports of problems in scenes that were more often festive than tense. Authorities were not quick to release crowd size estimates, but it was clear tens of thousands of people — and perhaps hundreds of thousands — turned out nationally.

Collectively, it was perhaps the largest one-day mobilization since Floyd died May 25 and came as many cities lifted curfews imposed following initial spasms of arson, assaults and smash-and-grab raids on businesses. Authorities have softened restrictions as the number of arrests plummeted.

Demonstrations also reached four other continents, ending in clashes in London and Marseille, France. In the U.S., Seattle police used flash bang devices and pepper spray to disperse protesters hurling rocks, bottles and what authorities said were “improvised explosives” that had injured officers, just a day after city leaders temporarily banned one kind of tear gas.

— Associated Press

10:54 AM - June 7, 2020
10:54 AM - June 7, 2020

City shares COVID-19 guidance for protesters; 768 total arrests announced

Thousands turned out at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on June 6, 2020 in the city’s largest demonstration yet against police brutality and racial injustice after the death of George Floyd.
CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer
Thousands turned out at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on June 6, 2020 in the city’s largest demonstration yet against police brutality and racial injustice after the death of George Floyd.

City officials are sharing coronavirus guidance for protesters Sunday, concerned “there may be an increased likelihood that participants may have been exposed to COVID-19.”

Demonstrators should get tested a week after being in a large group, monitor themselves for symptoms, and continue to wear masks and follow social-distancing guidelines.

“Those seeking testing do NOT need to identify that they were at a protest but instead should say they were near someone who may have had COVID-19,” the city said in an update Sunday.

There have been 768 total arrests during a week of demonstrations, according to figures released Sunday morning. Of the arrests, 494 were for curfew and failure to disperse violations; 236 for looting/burglary; 15 for assault on police; 13 theft; four firearms violations; two aggravated assaults; and one arrest each for rioting, propulsion of missile; possession of explosives, and vandalism.

There have also been a total 27 officers who sustained injuries, one who remains hospitalized.

The figures are updated as of midnight, according to the city.

— Patricia Madej

10:01 AM - June 7, 2020
10:01 AM - June 7, 2020

No citywide curfew planned Sunday evening

There will be no citywide curfew in effect this evening, the city announced Sunday morning.

Officials are readying for another day of demonstrations Sunday after thousands peacefully took to the streets Saturday during the largest protest in the city yet over the the death of George Floyd.

There are also currently no traffic restrictions in Center City Sunday following closures seen Saturday.

Citywide curfews have been in place throughout the week in response to the demonstrations.

Patricia Madej

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

Protesters and others experience the region’s first ‘yellow’ weekend

Kolby Kent Nelson, 32, a physician, is out volunteering as a medic offering masks, first aid, and sunscreen for those protesting at the Philadelphia Art Museum on Saturday.
TYGER WILLIAMS / Staff Photographer
Kolby Kent Nelson, 32, a physician, is out volunteering as a medic offering masks, first aid, and sunscreen for those protesting at the Philadelphia Art Museum on Saturday.

As the Philadelphia region entered its first weekend under loosened COVID-19 restrictions, Marquis Green ventured out, joining thousands who gathered on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for a peaceful protest in George Floyd’s name.

Green, 22, a law student from Los Angeles quarantining with family in Philadelphia, wore an N95 mask to protect himself, but his concerns for racial justice were weightier than any worries about COVID-19.

“This movement is bigger than anything,” Green said. “I’m glad all the young people are out. It’s a cause that’s bigger than life.”

Philadelphia and its surrounding counties on Friday entered the yellow phase under Gov. Tom Wolf’s coronavirus reopening plan, which lifts stay-at-home orders for “aggressive mitigation,” permitting businesses to reopen, but limiting many to 50% capacity.

Kristen Graham

8:00 AM - June 7, 2020
8:00 AM - June 7, 2020

Rizzo mural is no more

A crew from Mural Arts paints over the Frank Rizzo mural on Ninth Street in Philadelphia early Sunday morning.
DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
A crew from Mural Arts paints over the Frank Rizzo mural on Ninth Street in Philadelphia early Sunday morning.

The mural of former Philadelphia Mayor and Police Commissioner Frank Rizzo that has been an Italian Market fixture for the past 25 years is no more.

Amid a national outcry over racial injustices and the killing of George Floyd, and a renewed local call to stop glorifying the legacy of a mayor known for his aggressive treatment of the city’s black and gay communities, the mural was painted over early Sunday morning.

In its place is a blank canvas, a wall painted white. Italian Market officials have said the Rizzo mural will eventually be replaced with something that “better represents the fabric” of the area.

“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,” a statement from Italian Market officials said.

Kristen Graham, David Maialetti

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

Thousands pack Philadelphia streets in peaceful protest to declare that Black Lives Matter; other marches go on around the region

A powerful cry for justice rose from the streets of Philadelphia on Saturday, as thousands marched peacefully across a shut down Center City to demand an end to racism and to declare that Black Lives Matter.

Massive numbers of people converged on the streets, sidewalks, and lawns around the majestic Art Museum steps, then moved across the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to City Hall, the site of weeklong, pitched confrontations between police and protesters. At one point, fists in the air and signs held high, people turned to one another and loudly pledged, I will fight for you.

“From Michael Brown to George Floyd to Emmett Till, there’s a lineage of violence,” said one marcher, Elliott Webster, 28, of Philadelphia. “More than ever, people are starting to wake up.”

— Jeff Gammage, Stephanie Farr, Maddie Hanna, Bethany Ao