Conehead marching

An orange and white striped parking cone sits atop the head of one marcher as the protesters head north on Broad Street, passing the old Philadelphia Inquirer building.

The crowd appears to be thinning out. Some people are carrying signs and chanting "United we Stand, Divided We Fall."

To the Parkway

Marchers passed the Four Seasons - protected by a line of police officers and their bicycles - and headed onto the Parkway.

Earlier, protesters headed down 16th toward Walnut but police steered them back toward Market.

Outside the Municipal Services Building, someone tagged the back of the statue of former Mayor and Police Commissioner Frank Rizzo with an epithet against police: the letters FTP.

Police: Arrests, injuries

Public Safety Director Michael Resnick says he saw three to four people detained and a couple of police officers suffer minor injuries in the confrontation at the Vine Street Expressway.

City Hall confrontation

Protesters reach City Hall and try to break through a police line to get into the courtyard. Police are holding them at bay with their batons, extended horizontally.

Protestors call black police officers "traitors."

Market to City Hall

The protesters, waving flags, chanting and banging drums, are moving west on Market Street toward City Hall. They were accompanied by a chorus of car honks.

Some on bikes, some on skateboards, the marchers were accompanied by more than a dozen police officers on bicycles and about three dozen police cars, their lights flashing.

March to police HQ

The marchers are now leaving the area neat police headquarters at 8th and Race Streets, heading south through Center City. One reporter tweeted, "Cops ahead, cops behind, helicopters above."

Police official bloodied

Police Chief Inspector Joseph Sullivan, who handles homeland security matters, suffered a bloody lip in the melee at the ramp to Interstate 676. Police have now allowed the protesters onto the highway.

Two detained

Tempers are rising at the ramp to Interstate 676. At least two people have been detained as police struggle to hold back protesters trying to get onto the highway.

One of those arrested was put into an SUV and whisked from the scene, the other placed in a police van.

Some police now have clubs in their hands.

Protest now a sit-down

Hundreds of protesters have now sat down at Broad and Vine streets, completely blocking the intersection. Police are standing nearby but have taken no action.

No arrests have been made during the entire demonstration, according to Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross.

Tow trucks block the ramp

Two police tow trucks are blocking the ramp to Interstate 676 ramp near Callowhill, preventing the marchers from entering. Protesters now are circling the old Philadelphia Inquirer building at 400 N. Broad St.

A veteran speaks

Leroy Artison of Yorktown said that at age 91, he's probably the oldest person at the rally.

"When I was a kid, police were the most respected people around," said Artison, who said he is a former Marine who served in World War II. "I think certain police officers don't have adequate training. I think police officers should be able to apprehend a person without killing them."

Onto highway?

Protesters are yelling to tighten up the march at 16th and Vine, with one leader saying more people are en route to join them. There's concern the crowd may attempt to get onto Interstate 676.

"We're going to shut down the expressway and let the chips fall where they may," says Asa Khalif of Racial Unity.

On the Move

One large group of protesters is now at Broad and Vine, the other is northbound on 16th from Sansom.


Some signs held by demonstrators seek to connect 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died after being in custody of the Baltimore police, and 26-year-old Brandon Tate-Brown, shot to death by Philadelphia police after a car stop in December. Peaceful protests in Philadelphia followed Brown's death. Baltimore erupted in rioting after Gray's funeral on Monday.

On the street for her students

Molly McCormick, 29, who volunteers at an after-school program for teenagers at the Circle of Hope church on South Broad Street, said the youngsters did not come with her to the protest.

"Their parents were afraid for them to leave the house. That pains me," said McCormick, who lives in West Philadelphia. "I just felt compelled to come out here."

Her friend, 31-year-old Sarah Mueller, teaches high school and GED students at YESPhilly. "I'm tired of seeing their faces in the men and woman being killed today," said Mueller, who lives in North Philadelphia.

All races, ages

People attending the rally are both black and white, and range in age from a 91-year-old man to college students to babies being carried in their parents' arms. They are Christian, Muslim and Jewish.

Police car surrounded

SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel III said demonstrators surrounded a police car for about 10 minutes, chanting, "F_ the police!" The protesters did not rock the car, and the police did not move against the demonstrators, he said. "Great on the part of the protesters, great on the part of the police."

Briefly tense

The scene outside Parc briefly grew tense, then defused. "I'm not getting up," one diner said, refusing to leave her outdoor table as demonstrators gathered around. A marcher ate a piece of bread left on another table.

Rittenhouse Square

Protesters at Rittenhouse Square surrounded a police squad car and stopped a SEPTA bus near 17th Street and Walnut. Marchers were holding up signs - one of them saying "Fight Back," shaking them at the windshield of the police car.

In the apartments above, residents peered down at the demonstration.

Police tweet

The Philadelphia Police Department tweets: "The peaceful protest stops at 15th and Locust to express their first amendment rights."

Dining on Rittenhouse

Protesters earlier gathered outside Parc restaurant at Rittenhouse Square, chanting, "White silence is white consent!" The diners at the upscale French restaurant just watched, with some taking pictures.

Two directions

One group has turned off of Broad Street and is on Spring Garden near 13th, moving east. The second group is at Rittenhouse Square. Organizers claim 1,000 protesters have turned out; police earlier estimated 600.

Separate directions

Protesters now marching in two different directions, one group headed north on Broad Street, another heading south from 15th Street onto Locust. Bicycle police are providing an escort and mounted police are stationed outside SEPTA's Suburban Station. A heavy police presence is at Vine Street Expressway Ramp as the march continues.

One group is chanting, "Whose streets? Our streets!"

Pedestrians and drivers are taking pictures and video with their cellphones.

As the group moves north on Broad Street, a chant is directed at police on bikes, "Who do you serve? Who do you protect?" Also, "Who are we? Freddie Gray!" - a reference to the 25-year-old African American man who died after being in police custody in Baltimore.

Rally now moving

Protesters are on the move, police shutting down streets around City Hall. "We're hitting the street now! Enough talking!" says Asa Khalif, cousin of Brandon Tate-Brown, who was killed by Philadelphia police after a car stop in December.


"A completely lawful assembly of nonviolent citizens," said police Chief Inspector Joseph Sullivan, who handles homeland security matters. "Our job - make sure they can continue to assemble."

Parents and kids

Parents with small children wove strollers through the crowd, some of the kids carrying small signs. "I am Aiyana," read one, referring to the 7-year-old girl killed by police in Detroit during a raid at her house.

Angenette Jordan, 23, a massage therapist from Northern Liberties, said she had brought her kids, Paityn, 4, and Junior, 1, to several protest marches.

"It's something positive for them to see," she said. Events in Baltimore had hit home - she has family there, and was dismayed to see rioting and looting on television. She was proud of those who protested peacefully. "I want this stuff to end. I want police to do the job they're supposed to do."

Signs of the rally

"Get free or die trying." Another, showing a map that includes Philadelphia and Baltimore: "It's not far from here to there."

"We don't want it to turn into a riot. We must be peaceful," said Anissa Davila, 62. It's a gorgeous, comfortable spring evening.

Several people said that violence against citizens doesn't have to be physical to be painful. "Keeping hard-working people in poverty is violence," one said. Someone else held up a sign showing black men who have been killed by police: "Trigger-happy cops murdered us."

A voice of frustration

"It starts at the root, we've been lied to in this education system and I'm tired of it," said Tiera Warren, 28.


Elliot Martin, a 23-year-old student studying philosophy and political science at Eastern University in Wayne, held up a notebook in which he scrawled, "LOVE THE POLICE."

"I just felt a lot of tension against the police. Police lives matter, too. And there are black police officers," he said. "Justice is about loving all people, including police."

But Maureen Connolly, a 31-year-old pediatrician who lives in Center City, took offense to Martin's sign.

"It isn't a question about individual cops and their treatment of individuals," she said. "This is about a system that propagates racism and persecutes members of our community."

For years, people have tried to change the system through peaceful means, such as trying to change laws, she said.

"Again and again there's no progress. Again and again black people are killed by the police," she said. "There's so much pain. It's being expressed in a way that's totally understandable."

Peace reigns

So far the rally has been completely peaceful. No arrests, no injuries. A dance circle has formed at 15th and Market. Police have traffic units ready to safely escort protesters if they decide to move.

Crowd size

Police now estimate the crowd at 600, far below the 1,700 who said on Facebook that they would attend. SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel III said the long-scheduled noon dismissal of public schools tempered the crowd size. "That's a big deal," he said.

A mother speaks

"I wanted her to understand how broken the system is," said Angie Backus-Petersen, of West Philadelphia, at the rally with 9-year-old daughter Micaiah.

Loud choppers

The sounds of two news helicopters drowned out a tiny speaker system set up on Dilworth Plaza, facing City Hall. Organizers promised an open microphone for anyone willing to speak against the government system - "and we all know we have problems with the system," one protester said.

15th Street reopened

Police briefly closed 15th Street at JFK Boulevard, which has now reopened. They estimate the crowd at 300 people. On Facebook, more than 1,700 said they would attend. People still arriving.

A sign held high

Sign held by high-school teacher Sarah Mueller: "Dear White People: Our Silence equals consent. #Blacklivesmatter."

Candidates attend rally

Mayoral candidate Anthony Williams is present at the protest. So is Nelson Diaz. Crowd is old, young, black, white.

Two voices

Says protester Ryan Smith, 31, "I've been a victim of police brutality, it seems like people are starting to wake up." Says Markee Hamilton, "This will be in history books. I want to know I did the best I could to stand up."

Concert will go on

Tonight's Philadelphia Orchestra concert was to take place as scheduled at the Kimmel Center. Concert-goers received a notice saying center security would take extra steps to be sure the performance proceeds.

A teenagers's voice

"We're not trying to fight the police, we just want our rights," said Tanaya Reed, 17.

Two thumbs-up for cops

As the start of the rally neared, a man sitting in a Dodge Caravan at a red light at 12th and Market honked at two uniformed police officers as they crossed the street toward the protest. When the cops looked over, the man gave two thumbs up. They waved back.

Some businesses closed

Some Center City businesses closed at midday in anticipation of the rally, said Rick Montanez, chief traffic engineer for the city. The earlier exodus prompted the city's traffic department to bump up rush hour protocol, adjusting traffic lights on Broad Street to ease outgoing traffice.

"Normal rush hour will start at 3 p.m., but today it started at 1 p.m. because people wanted to leave before the protest began," Montanez said.

Will 1,700 show up?

About 1,700 people indicated online that they planned to attend the "Philadelphia is Baltimore" rally near Ciy Hall. The Philadelphia court system dismissed employees at 3:30 p.m. in anticipation of crowds and congestion.

The early dismissal was prompted by an "abundance of caution and for the purpose of crowd control, traffic congestion and possible reassignment of law enforcement," an announcement said.

City Hall offices were to remain open as normal, officials said.

Event organizers say the gathering is to show support for protesters in Baltimore, who have been demonstrating for the past week over the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African American man who died after being in police custody. Riots erupted there on Monday after his funeral.


Baltimore and Philadelphia are remarkably similar places: Both have African American leadership, as mayor and police commissioner. Both have large black populations; Baltimore is 63 percent African American, Philadelphia 43 percent. Both have impoverished outlying neighborhoods and glittery, tourist-friendly downtowns.

Both endure long-standing friction between their Police Departments and minority communities.

Contributing to this article was staff writer Julia Terruso