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Philly Officials Defend Tear Gas on I-676 Protest; Officials Condemn Vigilantes; PA Election Results
 
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 06/02/20 11:28 pm | updated: 06/02/20 11:28 pm
 
Philadelphia officials defended the use of smoke and tear gas on protestors who had made their way onto the Vine Street Expressway I-676 on Monday afternoon, 6/1. A group of a few thousand peaceful protestors were marching west on Vine Street late in the afternoon. The group took up a few blocks. The front of the group continued onto the on-ramp of the expressway at 22nd street. A large number of protestors eventually spilled on to the highway stopping traffic in both directions. Police suddenly started firing non-lethal rounds as well as canisters of tear gas and smoke at the people on the highway. Many were able to scramble back off the road, but quite a few were trapped in the cavern of I-676. A steep grassy area led up to a tall concrete wall and steel fence which hemmed in protestors. Police continued to fire gas at the people even though they had no where to go. Police made a few dozen arrests.

Both Mayor Kenney and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw defended the police use of tear gas in the situation. "When folks run up on a freeway, at that point, it's not deemed peaceful," Outlaw said. "There's moving vehicles, they can get hurt, people in the vehicles can get hurt. You have to make decisions as it occurs. I'm not going to Monday morning quarterback, but I can tell you it's very clear guidelines around our use-of-force policy." They also referred to a State Police patrol car that was being rocked back and forth. The call to use force is made by the incident commander on scene. Outlaw made a use-of-force policy change in a memo saying that all uses-of-force must be reported live on police radio instead of just after the fact in a written report.

Philadelphia officials condemned a group of men armed with bats and other blunt objects that were 'patrolling' Fishtown on Monday night, 6/1. The group also appeared to be 'protecting' the 26th Police District along Girard Ave. "Armed vigilantism will not be tolerated moving forward," Mayor Jim Kenney said. "I would not describe that group as someone that I would want speaking for me or speaking on behalf of my police department," Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said. The group wanted to protect its neighborhood from looters and rioters. "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," Kenney said.





Tuesday, June 2, was Election Day in Pennsylvania. The 2020 Presidential Primary itself was not very exciting as Donald Trump won for the Republicans and Joe Biden won for the Democrats. That was not in question nor the reason this was an extraordinary vote. This election was the first in PA where you did not have to have an excuse to use a mail-n ballot and it could turn out that 2/3 of the voters chose that path. The big push to use the mail came because of the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis and was the reason the election was pushed back from April 28. Six counties received extensions to count mail-in ballots because of civil unrest. People still found their way to the polls to vote in-person, with masks and socially distanced, despite the virus and the protests.

FOLLOW RESULTS: https://electionreturns.pa.gov

 
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