During a City Council budget hearing yesterday, Council members indicated they wanted to see changes made to the Philly Police Department. And, Pennsylvania has lifted some coronavirus-related restrictions on certain outdoor sports and activities.
When protests of racism and police brutality escalated in West Philadelphia on May 31, Mayor Jim Kenney and a handful of other city officials made the broad authorization to allow police to use tear gas to control crowds of people demonstrating.
That information was revealed yesterday during a city budget hearing in which Council members questioned the police response to protests while advocating for changes to the department.
While some Philly restaurateurs and chefs have put out statements, pledged donations, or decorated their restaurants’ facades with messages of support for the Black Lives Matter movement, others in the white-male-dominated industry are “are flailing in those attempts, resulting in criticism from staff and customers,” my colleague Samantha Melamed writes. Take what happened at the popular Queen Village spot Hungry Pigeon, for example.
Melamed reports that a larger reckoning with internal issues of racism might lead to a profound shift in restaurants, comparing what’s happening in kitchen culture to the #MeToo movement.
“The restaurant industry is built on white supremacy," chef Kurt Evans said.
My colleague and Inquirer restaurant critic Craig LaBan wrote this week that he has “not devoted enough coverage over the years to the black community’s food scene — something I plan to change.” For those of you looking to support Philly’s black-owned restaurants, he wrote about some of his favorites.
Athletes, rejoice. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is allowing professional, college, high school, and youth sports to resume. He also lifted coronavirus-related restrictions on outdoor venues. When it comes to sports, there are still certain restrictions, though.
Outdoor dining is also returning, again with restrictions. For example, whenever guests aren’t seated, they need to wear masks. And, people are only allowed inside a restaurant to access an outdoor area or to use restrooms.
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“As Philadelphia and the nation enter a third week of protests against police brutality, debates about how to reform policing are gaining momentum. But those debates will lead nowhere unless we dispel with the delusion that because police are funded with tax dollars, they will be accountable to the public. That’s a delusion because of a dangerous force: police unions that are actively fighting against change or accountability. That includes Philadelphia’s Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5.” — writes the Inquirer Editorial Board about why elected officials in Philadelphia should not be afraid of the city’s police union.