In response to protests that have occurred across the city, Mayor Jim Kenney says actions of violence will not be tolerated.
In today’s press briefing, Mayor Kenney specifically referenced a group of protestors in Fishtown last night who wielded baseball bats.
“We do not condone vigilantism. We understand a community’s desire to protect their neighborhood and if they want to do that in peace we would allow it, regardless of neighborhood. But armed vigilantism will not be tolerated moving forward,” Mayor Kenney said.
Mayor Kenney says he understands black communities across the city and nation are in pain. “While I can’t possibly ever truly comprehend the pain of our black residents, I want you to know that we see you and we hear you,” he said.
In addition to the protestors in Fishtown, there were several other incidents that took place last night, including looting, vandalism and arson. Mayor Kenney says lives are being lost because of these actions and there will be consequences.
Commissioner Outlaw joined Mayor Kenney to discuss a video that went viral of a crowd of protestors being teargassed on the I-676 highway. Commissioner Outlaw says protestors had surrounded a state police trooper who was seated in his vehicle and began to throw rocks. According to Outlaw, the use of tear gas was selected when other methods were not effective. Outlaw added that there is an administrative investigation happening for the situation that occurred on I-676.
“We do not condone any acts of violence, and as an agency, we do not take sides. Our mission is to always protect all persons,” Commissioner Outlaw said.
With regard to arrests and injuries to officers, 692 arrests have been made and at least 25 officers have been injured.
Commissioner Outlaw says looting teams have been assigned to the six geographic patrolling divisions, in effort to quickly respond to looting and vandalism.
Mayor Kenney also spoke about today’s election, saying that polling places will remain open until 8 p.m. Voters can vote in-person or send in a mail-in ballot. With the governor’s executive order, voters can send in an absentee or mail-in ballot that is postmarked with today’s date, June 2, as long as it is received by the Board of Elections by June 9. Click here for a list of drop-off locations.
Due to the polls closing after 8 p.m., curfew hours will begin tonight at 8:30 p.m. Only those who are engaged in essential duties will be permitted outside after that time.
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