President Donald Trump last night threatened to deploy the U.S. military unless states did more to stop violence alongside the demonstrations against police brutality and the mourning of George Floyd. In Philadelphia, and in other places across the nation, people gathered to demonstrate and were met with bolstered law enforcement, including the National Guard. Folks also were cleaning up the damage from broken-into buildings from the previous two days. Here’s what that looked like.
Following the weekend’s protests, yesterday’s clashes between police and people demonstrating contained a particularly striking scene as thousands of marchers moved on the Vine Street Expressway, stopping traffic. Police then fired tear gas into the crowd, setting off a stampede of people trying to escape up walls and steep hills. At that point, people scrambled as they were gassed again, some of them trapped, leaving their belongings behind as they ran.
Mayor Kenney and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a statement late last night that Philadelphia SWAT officers released the tear gas and non-chemical white smoke after they say some people protesting had thrown rocks. The gas was “a means to safely defuse a volatile and dangerous situation and restore order,” Outlaw said in the statement.
The chaos occurred an hour before the city’s 6 p.m. curfew, on a day when the National Guard rolled into aid city and state police. Later last night, after the curfew took hold, police again sought to more forcefully clear the streets. Tonight, the city’s curfew will begin at 8:30 p.m in order to give Philadelphians the chance to vote in today’s primary before the polls close at 8.
My colleagues are out reporting on an unusual Pennsylvania primary day. Here’s some of what you need to know to vote in today’s primary. Yesterday, Gov. Tom Wolf extended the mail ballot deadlines for one week in Philadelphia. Here are the things we’ll be watching for as state and local election officials deal with the first statewide election since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Along with the local and congressional races on the ballot, Joe Biden supporters and the Democratic establishment in Pennsylvania are taking a quiet victory lap regarding the ex-vice president’s emergence as the party’s presumptive nominee to take on President Trump in November. Biden’s campaign announced that he will visit Philadelphia today to speak about the “the civil unrest facing communities across America.”
A third day of protests against police brutality and the killing of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody began throughout Philadelphia yesterday afternoon. Here’s what it looked like.
“Murder from police brutality, combined with no swift, concentrated, and deliberate effort to decrease the spread of coronavirus disease in the black community: What is the message they send? That our lives don’t matter to those in power. If we want change, we must create it. We have seen time and again: No one cares about us but us. We were brought to America, our families broken, lives lost, lifetimes taken, women raped, men lynched, and children left to fend for themselves. Then after over 200 hundred years, someone in power proclaimed: ‘OK, you’re free now, go do something with yourselves—while I have my foot on your neck.’" — writes Dr. Ala Stanford, a pediatric surgeon who founded the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium in her hometown of Philadelphia, about the deadly impact of police brutality and the coronavirus on black people.