After another night of destructive protests in Philadephia, Mayor Jim Kenney announced on Sunday that he would be extending Philadephia’s curfew to include Sunday night and locking down the Center City sector of the city, NBC10 Philadelphia reported. The mayor said that the lockdown was being implemented to prevent further damage to public property and to allow people to clean up the destruction created by the protests that have been happening for the past few days.
According to NBC10 Philadelphia, city officials ordered all retail businesses to close around 2:30 p.m. local time on Sunday. They also ordered anyone cleaning up in the area or boarding up buildings to be home by 5 p.m. Kenney told NBC10 Philadelphia that he hoped closing businesses and locking down the Center City sector would help residents of the city adhere to the 8 p.m. curfew that will be in place Sunday night.
To facilitate the cleanup and further emergency responses if needed, all streets in Center City are closed. The closure area runs from Vine Street to South Street, from the Delaware River to the Schuylkill River. The closure continues until further notice. pic.twitter.com/oCCPp39Ahk
— City of Philadelphia (@PhiladelphiaGov) May 31, 2020
The streets around and in the Center City sector will be closed to all traffic until further notice, per a tweet from the City of Philadelphia’s official Twitter account.
Mayor Kenney told NBC10 Philadelphia that the people responsible for the violence and the destruction within the city were not residents of the area. He added that he believed they were “anarchists” and “right-wingers.” The mayor also praised the Philadelphia Police Department for showing restraint with protesters.
The narrative that protesters are coming in from outside the local area to incite violence at protests against police brutality has been common as violence has erupted at protests all over the country.
Forbes reported that the mayor of St. Paul Minnesota, Melvin Carter, said that every protester that was arrested in his city was from out of town. He later walked back that statement. NBC4 New York reported that Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City claimed that city officials had proof that the people inciting violence at NYC’s protests were from out of state, and their primary purpose was to cause harm and destruction by coming to protests in NYC. Mayors throughout the country have been insistent that residents of their own cities are not the ones turning protests violent.
Protests against police brutality instigated by the death of George Floyd last Monday have been going on in states across the country since Tuesday. Protests in several states turned violent on Wednesday and Thursday. Many states have called in the National Guard to quell the protests and stop the violence. Several cities, like Philadelphia, have also instituted mandatory curfews in an attempt to stop the protests.
Though Philadelphia was under a mandatory curfew Saturday night, there were still more than 207 arrests by Sunday morning, NBC10 Philadelphia reported.