PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia police sources describe a department in turmoil over the way it handled protests across the city. Now, some of the sources are talking to Eyewitness News.
In an analysis provided by Philadelphia Police commanders to CBS3, parts of Center City were trashed by looters and vandals due to a lack of manpower, police resources and bad judgment calls.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity over the course of the last four days, police officials say the crowds in Center City on Saturday, May 30, should have been strategically funneled west towards 30th Street, where it was explained they would have been dispersed. Bike units would have assisted a slow-moving foot patrol.
That didn’t happen. Instead, the department lacked enough resources.
Sources say the department further fumbled in moving out the crowds as looting began because police further diluted their resources by turning their attention to making individual arrests.
As a result, dozens and dozens of properties were damaged and vandalized.
Similar manpower issues led to trapped officers in other areas of the city throughout the weekend.
A recent apology by city officials over the use of tear gas on highway protesters on June 1 reignited internal debate within police ranks about the department’s unpreparedness.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, who is out of town and unavailable for comment, on Thursday refused to say who was responsible for the number of officers that sources say should have been an all-hands-on-deck posture.
“I would have liked for us to have far more personnel than we had on that day. It did not happen and once it was brought to my attention that we did not have enough people, we bolstered from there,” Outlaw said. “I also stated that there will be personnel actions taken as a result of this.”