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Philadelphia was placed under mandatory citywide curfew from 8 p.m. Saturday through 6 a.m. Sunday, by order of Mayor Jim Kenney. The curfew will again be in effect starting 6 p.m. Sunday night.
The mandates follow a day that started with around 3,000 people attending peaceful protests, according to city officials. It ended with a much smaller group causing major havoc and vandalism to municipal buildings and looting of retail storefronts in Center City.
A fire at a Doc Martens store on Chestnut Street burned throughout Saturday night; fire trucks were still dousing it with water Sunday morning, according to images posted online.
“There are several outside agitators,” Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said Friday night, indicating that in her mind, people who incited destruction were a separate group than the earlier marchers. “We know there are also some young people out there who are confused,” she added.
“The people who were marching, were not the problem,” Mayor Kenney said.
Under the curfew, only people with “essential duties” are allowed to be outside. The city is also still under the mayor’s pandemic stay-at-home order and Gov. Wolf’s “red” phase, which both discourage being outside your home unless necessary to combat viral spread.
Protests over institutional racism and police brutality began around noon and lasted all day. Philly is one of many American cities to see protests reacting to the repeated death of Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement after a former Minneapolis police officer was arrested and charged with murdering George Floyd. Curfews were also established Saturday night in Atlanta and Los Angeles, according to USA Today.
There is another Philadelphia event planned for Sunday at 1 p.m. next to the Octavius Catto statue.
Saturday’s rallies stayed peaceful as they moved from City Hall to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and back again, and the same for gatherings early afternoon outside PPD headquarters. By late afternoon, some factions of protesters started getting violent.
The Rizzo statue, long a controversial symbol connected to police brutality, was covered with graffiti and attempted to be pulled down, before fires were set on its pedestal. Several empty cars were also smashed up, turned over, and set on fire.
At least 13 police officers were injured during the day, along with an unknown number of protesters, according to Commissioner Outlaw.
We followed along on Twitter, pulling in some of the scenes from the many excellent journalists on the ground. Recapping that thread, here’s how the day went down.