PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Massive protests touched off yet again in Philadelphia on Saturday. Thousands have crowded around what will be the city’s new police headquarters at Broad and Callowhill Streets.
Their continued cry is for law enforcement reform.
Chopper 3 was above the scene on Saturday afternoon, where roughly 3,000 people rallied, calling on city leaders to defund the Philadelphia Police Department.
That doesn’t necessarily mean abolish it, but many protesters told Eyewitness News that at least some of the department’s budget should instead be prioritized to improve other city services.
“I don’t think the police force should be abolished, I just think the funds and the services that they are required to provide should be put in better places in the community,” Augustus Fulton-Wiley said.
“The police, obviously, are being funded way more than they need to,” Nicholas Tassi said. “We need to get different services. Police don’t offer social services. If you know there’s a domestic dispute, you don’t need a police officer that’s going to show up and escalate the situation and make things worse. You need to take cops out of schools. You need to clean up the schools and have better education, which would clean up the communities.”
The protestors marched from North Broad Street to City Hall and then to Market Street. Some were holding signs that read, “This is a revolt against racism.”
Meanwhile, applause erupted for a couple who said “I Do” in front of an audience of thousands.
In Center City, many stores remained boarded up on Saturday, but some Philadelphians worked to make those big brown boards more aesthetically pleasing.
— Matt Petrillo (@MattPetrillo) June 13, 2020
Walking through the shopping district in Rittenhouse Square, you’ll see brown board after brown board. It may be ugly, some people came together Saturday to beautify them and send a message.
It’s called Walls of Justice and the group is painting murals on businesses — like at the Philadelphia Runner Store at 16th and Sansom Streets in Center City — with the hope to spread some brotherly love and sisterly affection.
“Everything that we’re painting is of peace and love,” Sam Rodriguez, with Walls of Justice, said. “We work with community members and business owners to send a message of solidarity to the community.”
The beautification of stores could become a new trend as businesses in Rittenhouse Square are set to reopen Monday — even while boarded up.