PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The use of tear gas on demonstrators on the Vine Street Expressway earlier this week is now the focus of an independent review by the Philadelphia controller’s office. The office announced Thursday it’s investigating why the city lacked enough law enforcement resources during last weekend’s protests and looting.
Officials say the review will also look into why vigilantes with baseball bats and other weapons were allowed to freely roam in Fishtown on Monday night.
“People expect certain things from their city. They expect that people and property will be protected and they expect to be able to voice their opinion in a peaceful manner as a protester. The images are disturbing and that’s why I think an investigation is necessary,” City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart said.
The controller’s review will be made public and include input from community leaders.
The police department is conducting its own internal review.
On Thursday afternoon, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced police reforms in response to the unrest.
“I’m directing the MPOETC, state police and all other training academies for law enforcement to review their training criteria. This will include a thorough review and revision of use of force training,” Wolf said. “We will also develop standardized testing and best practices for verbal deescalation techniques, trauma-centered approaches, mental health, first-aid and complicit bias training.”
The reforms are based on recommendations by President Barack Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.