Powerful storms yesterday swept through the Philadelphia region, knocking down trees, causing tens of thousands to lose power, and killing at least three people in the suburbs. Before most people woke up yesterday, Philadelphia removed the statue of former Mayor Frank Rizzo, who was known for his aggression in policing black and gay communities. And, Philadelphians again gathered to protest police brutality, marching throughout the city.
Yesterday morning, Philadelphia woke up to a profound change in Center City. The Rizzo statue disappeared overnight, but Philadelphia is still unpacking its legacy.
For Mayor Jim Kenney, who tweeted that “The statue represented bigotry, hatred, and oppression for too many people, for too long,” the removal was part of an evolution of his thinking about law and order.
But the removal of his statue does not necessarily mean that Rizzo’s imprint on Philly’s police department will disappear. His legacy of unchecked police brutality and division is something that the department has been reckoning with for nearly 30 years since his death.
“The protests that happened before this kind of died out, but the rage still stayed inside everyone,” said Jasmine Harvey, 27, referring to protests after the deaths of 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.”
Harvey was one of the hundreds who marched and gathered at City Hall and in front of the Art Museum yesterday, raising their voices in nonviolent protests against police brutality. Here’s what it looked like.
Gov. Tom Wolf announced yesterday that his amended stay-at-home order would expire at 11:59 p.m. tonight. That was only still in place for some Pennsylvania counties, including Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs. Those suburbs in Southeastern Pa. were planning for a partial reopening tomorrow, but Mayor Kenney cast some uncertainty about whether the city would end up delaying its move to the next phase of the coronavirus-related restrictions.
A powerful storm swept through the region yesterday. Here’s what it looked like from @imagicdigital’s perspective. Thanks for sharing.
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“And being black in the eyes of far too many police officers means my dignity and my life are not worth protecting. ‘Your lives don’t matter!’ is what police actions tell and have told me and people like me for centuries.” — writes former Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins in The Inquirer about why he marched with the Philadelphia community.
Brothers Rick and Ky Cao are the owners of Ps & Qs men’s boutique in South Philly. They created a “Fight The Virus Not The People” shirt project because they “had to speak up" about coronavirus-related racism.