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Mayor Jim Kenney is asking the public to help identify whether any of the 30,000 City of Philadelphia employees participated in the violent and unlawful breach of the U.S. Capitol last week.
Hundreds of people stormed the building as Congress was preparing to certify President-elect Biden’s win. It has since come to light that several Republican officials, white supremacists, off-duty police, and military members from across the country were part of the insurrectionist mob, with more names revealed by the day.
“I fully support the rights of all citizens — including our city employees — to exercise their First Amendment right to free speech,” Kenney said in a statement released Monday afternoon.
“But equally important issues are raised when any demonstrators break the law,” he continued, “and it is clear that hundreds of people did so last Wednesday in the abhorrent incursion of the U.S. Capitol.”
The mayor’s statement acknowledged “at least one” case under investigation already — likely referring to a PPD detective who attended the rally. Detective Jennifer Gugger reportedly posted that she was in Washington last week, posting “#StopTheSteal Drinking beers with fellow patriots!” It is unclear whether she partook in any of the illegal activity.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw has vowed swift action against any PPD member who participated in the lawlessness. Five people died during the riot, including a Capitol police officer.
Kenney emphasized his administration has no evidence any city workers ran afoul of the law that day, and that “any resulting investigations would not lose sight of the right to engage in First Amendment protected activity.”
The investigations will be conducted by the Office of the Inspector General, an agency that attempts to root out fraud and misconduct within city government. The office is led by Alexander F. DeSantis, who Kenney named director in May.
Tipsters can reach out anonymously, either through 311, the office’s phone number (215-686-1770), or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.