PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia police encountered large crowds as they broke up two parties overnight. Authorities continue to see large gatherings throughout the city even though they are banned during the pandemic, and the gatherings are proving to be a difficult situation for police as some are turning violent.
On Sunday night, police broke up a gathering at North 30th Street and West Susquehanna Avenue in Strawberry Mansion. Eyewitness News was there as several people were placed in handcuffs. At one point, you can see an officer shove a man into a CBS3 camera.
Those who were there say police told them they could gather until 1:30 a.m. but they unexpectedly moved in early.
“What shouldn’t have happened was cops started getting unprofessional,” attendee Kevin Davis. “They started raising their voices and I’m like for what if it’s a discussion what are you doing all that for? I feel like some of them were trying to provoke.”
Another large gathering took place in East Germantown at the Lonnie Young Recreation Center at East Chelten Avenue and Ardleigh Street.
Both of these gatherings ended without any major incident.
However, a gathering on Saturday night ended with five people shot. Neighbors near 10th and Brown Streets in North Philadelphia say about 200 people were together memorializing a man who was shot a few years ago. That’s when they say a group of people on motorcycles drove by and started firing into the crowd.
Five people were injured and no one was killed.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said the pandemic and these large crowds could lead to trouble.
“It’s disserving, it’s disheartening,” Outlaw said. “The pandemic has not been canceled. You know, there is a lot of things that bring us pause and concern. But again, day in and day out, we will be here, we’ve been here. We’ll continue to be here and we’re doing everything that we can to make sure we resolve these matters in an expeditious matter so we can hopefully get ahead of anything that could occur as a result of this.”
It’s important to note that because of the pandemic, large gatherings are still not permitted in Philadelphia. It’s not clear if anyone will face charges for organizing them.