City Officials Update Response to Demonstrations

City officials’ daily press briefing on June 3 addresses Philadelphia police action toward demonstrations.

For the fourth night in a row, a curfew was set for Philadelphia Wednesday. Only those engaged in essential duties were able to remain outdoors.

“We are doing this for everyone’s safety,” Mayor Jim Kenney said.

More attempts have been made to loot ATM machines with explosive devices. Police Chief Danielle Outlaw says that most of these attempts have been unsuccessful. 50 ATM machines have been damaged or opened via the use of explosives. Officers are not saying whether anyone has been arrested based on these crimes yet. If charged, Pa. State Court would charge those with weapons of mass destruction. There is a team of detectives currently gathering information and evidence regarding looting and is receiving help from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Chief Outlaw is encouraging businesses to ensure money is removed, adding “it’s not worth the risk to the community.” Overall, however, Chief Outlaw says looting and vandalism is beginning to slow down.

If you have any information about those involved in using explosives to break into ATM machines, reach out to 1-888-ATF-TIPS.

Since the beginning of the demonstrations, there have been a total of 716 arrests. 490 of those being code violations for curfew and failure to disperse. Other arrests include assault on police, theft, propulsion of a missile and looting and burglary. A total of 25 police officers have been injured since Saturday.

On the topic of officers harming peaceful protestors, Chief Outlaw said “I would hope that it’s not true that officers are not attacking civilians…I do expect professionalism, I do expect accountability.” She added that if anyone would like to report an incident, they can contact their Internal Affairs Department or call 911.

Due to these protests, it is still up in the air on whether Philadelphia will be able to re-open on Friday, June 5. Mayor Jim Kenney says he is concerned about the thousands of people being close together without masks, but added that “the numbers are looking better and better each day.”

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