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SEPTA Police Officer Charged Assault Protesters; PA Waive Liquor License Fees; Shooter Stalks Victim
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 10/22/20 4:52 pm | updated: 10/22/20 4:52 pm
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner announced on Thursday, 10/22, that a former SEPTA Police sergeant has been arrested for an incident near the site of the Frank Rizzo statue during demonstrations on the first day of George Floyd related unrest. 36-year-old Matthew Sinkiewicz of Bensalem is charged with two counts each of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, simple assault, and other related charges. He is accused of hitting two protesters multiple times on their heads and bodies. They required treatment at the hospital. It happened on Saturday, May 30, outside the Municipal Services Building near the statue of the former mayor. That statue has since been removed.

"The civil disorder that occurred in Philadelphia on May 30 did not take away the responsibility of our member to follow the Transit Police rules and expectations for professional conduct," SEPTA Police Chief Thomas J. Nestel III said. "Our response to resistance must be appropriate, and when it is not, the member will be held responsible." Sinkiewicz was initially suspended and then fired in July after an internal investigation. He is also accused of filing paperwork after the incident that did not accurately described his interaction with protestors.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced a plan on Thursday, 10/22, to help the struggling restaurant and bar industry during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. The plan will waive standard liquor license fees for 2021. There are around 16,000 bars, restaurants, clubs, hotels, etc. that would get $20 million in relief if they did not have to pay those fees.

"As we enter the anticipated fall resurgence of COVID-19 cases, the very contagious nature of this virus makes gathering indoors publicly at full capacity dangerous. Still, we know that restaurant and bar owners in Pennsylvania are committed to keeping their employees and customers safe and the vast majority of these businesses have followed safety precautions and invested in new procedures and supplies, but COVID continues to hurt this industry," Wolf said. "My administration continues to look for innovative ways that we can support the bar and restaurant industry. Eliminating liquor license fees is an important step toward helping bars and restaurants retain the capital they need to weather the storm of COVID-19."

Philadelphia Police have released surveillance footage of a suspect wanted in a shooting from last month in South Philadelphia. It happened around 1 p.m. on 9/1 on the 1400 block of Fitzwater Street. Police say that the suspect followed the victim for several blocks before shooting him. The 42-year-old victim was shot once in the thigh. He was taken to Jefferson Hospital in stable condition. He was caught fleeing on surveillance cameras on Broad and Fitzwater and on the 1300 block of Bainbridge. If you have any information, contact South Detective Division at 215-686-3013/3014.

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