KYW Newsradio reports that protests following the George Zimmerman acquittal have resulted in the postponement of an annual celebration commemorating late Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo. Supporters gather at Rizzo’s statue near City Hall every July 16, the anniversary of his death.
Organizer Hank Cisco said the Rizzo memorial was put off to avoid any potential confrontation.
“There was a possibility there would be demonstrations, and we didn’t want to give police any more problems,” he tells KYW Newsradio. “We want peace and calm.”
Supporting the decision is Frank Rizzo Jr., the late mayor’s son and a former city councilman.
“We don’t need people screaming back and forth at each other — not that that would happen,” Rizzo Jr. said today. “Probably a good decision. What I wouldn’t want to have happen is anyone who supports my father, or people there for the George Zimmerman case, the Trayvon Martin case, get into any kind of dispute. This is not what this day is intended to be.”
And really, it’s good to keep the two events separate. Rizzo’s reign, after all, was totally about using the power of the state to round up, harass, and humiliate African Americans. The Zimmerman trial was about private vigilantism against a young black kid. So, you know, totally different things.