PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Exclusive reporting by CBS3 over the last 48 hours has revealed sharp disagreement over the driving forces of what went wrong with police response during severe civil unrest in the city one month ago.
Eyewitness News has gotten Mayor Jim Kenney and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw on the record about it.
Just a month ago, Philadelphia was under siege by violent protests. On Tuesday, Outlaw said she does not blame any one particular person in how the ramp-up with police resources happened. She said it was a constellation of issues.
Outlaw says she’s open to criticism and an independent, overarching analysis of what went wrong when protests turned violent on May 30 and 31.
The police commissioner this afternoon spoke with Joe Holden by phone about CBS3 reports citing withering criticism that the department failed to schedule enough officers to contain violent outbursts across the city that late May weekend.
The commissioner said no single person is to blame for jettisoning a proposed plan that would have prompted the department to go all-hands-on-deck and deploy all platoons.
Outlaw also tells CBS3 there was no pressure from above to minimize staffing.
Commanders have told Eyewitness News if the department had better mobilized, violent protests would have been better contained.
Police commanders say they believe there remains a communication breakdown.
Following a public event, CBS3 spoke with Mayor Kenney about concerns the department had yet to internally flush out it’s handling of the George Floyd demonstrations and the ensuing fallout.
“Six commanders over the course of the last five days have told us they’re still waiting for a post-incident briefing, which they say is very standard in the police department,” CBS3’s Joe Holden asked the mayor.
“I don’t know who these commanders are and I assume they don’t want you to tell me who they are so I’ll check with that and get something back to you,” Kenney said.
“I’m the mayor, I don’t micro-manage departments so I don’t know day-to-day who’s meeting with who. I don’t think it’s my role to know that. Six commanders who are anonymous, I don’t know what their motivations are or what their purpose is and whether or not they’re giving correct information but I can find out and get back to you,” Kenney said.
Aside from the city’s own internal review, an outside agency will also take a look at everything that happened that weekend, including police response, logistics, tactical information, costs and overtime.
There’s no telling how long it will take and how much it will cost the Philadelphia taxpayer.