FOP responds to violent protests

FOP5 president John McNesby released a statement saying it is “difficult to be sympathetic to the cause” when protestors riot.

In light of yesterday’s riots in Center City Philadelphia that resulted in more than 200 arrests, FOP Lodge 5 president John McNesby issued a statement saying “vandalizing and looting our great city will not be tolerated.”

On Saturday people gathered outside City Hall and the Philadelphia Museum of Art to peacefully protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed by an officer in Minneapolis.

The protests quickly escalated, with people setting police cars on fire, shattering windows at City Hall and more. Protesters also sprayed graffiti on the statue of former Mayor Frank Rizzo and tried to topple the structure.

Of the more than 200 arrests made, two were for assault on police and 48 were for looting and/or burglary.

“Our officers last night showed incredible restraint, bravery and courage under very, very difficult conditions,” McNesby said.

Amid the riots, a 9th Police District officer was hospitalized with a broken arm after being struck by a hit-and-run vehicle near 7th and Chestnut streets in Center City while the officer was attempting to stop a looting. At least 13 officers were injured, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with this officer and the many others injured last night,” McNesby said.

Mayor Jim Kenney set a mandatory citywide curfew on Saturday from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. The curfew will repeat tonight.

“The peaceful protests earlier were touching shows of our collective grief, but the anger being displayed now this afternoon cannot and will not continue,” Kenney said.

“We are justified in our anger when another unarmed black American’s life is cut tragically short at the hands of the police, but what’s taken place today in our city and across the nation is unacceptable,” he said.