Hundreds of protestors gathered outside City Hall in Philadelphia Saturday afternoon to take a knee in solidarity for George Floyd, the unarmed black man who died after being restrained by multiple Minneapolis police officers, one of which was digging his knee in Floyd’s neck.
The COVID-19 pandemic did not deter protesters from displaying their frustration and anger toward police across the country.
Philadelphia is the latest city to join the national movement seeking justice for all the people who died at the hands of police brutality. The protest, which began in Dilworth Park, culminated at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
The Facebook event that organized this demonstration said, “We’re congregating (while strictly following social distancing) to remember the lives of those lost to police brutality by taking a knee.”
Protestors marched along JFK Boulevard, 20th Street, and the Ben Franklin Parkway chanting, “No justice. No peace.”
Demonstrators held signs, some of which read “Justice for George” and “I Can’t Breathe,” on the iconic Rocky Steps leading to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
One protestor said, “It’s important that we all stand together because we all really are one.”
However, the protests that began peacefully early Saturday afternoon ended in riots by nightfall.
Police vehicles were set ablaze and looters plundered shops along Chestnut and Walnut streets prompting Mayor Jim Kenney to implement a mandatory citywide curfew from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.