Hundreds of Teens Form “Flash Mob” in Germantown

flash mob, teens

iStockphoto.com | artolympic

Hundreds of teens reportedly formed a “flash mob” after an event at a recreation center in Germantown on Sunday.

According to 6ABC, the teens assembled around 9:30 p.m. on the 1000 block of Chelten Avenue, near the Lonnie Young Recreation Center.

Police responded and attempted to disperse the large crowd, which they said was made up largely of youths between 12 and 17 years old. Officers reportedly asked some local business to close early after things turned “violent,” according to 6ABC.

Some of the teens reportedly jumped on top of cars, threw glass bottles and surrounded vehicles.

No officers or teens were hurt. Police said no arrests were made in order to prevent the situation from escalating.

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PPD Investigating Controversial Video of Kensington Arrest

arrest

Photo via Facebook

The Philadelphia Police Department is investigating a controversial video of an arrest that occurred Monday in Kensington.

The three-minute video, posted by a resident named Ariel Rivera, has been watched more than 360,000 times as of Wednesday morning. It was reportedly filmed near Elkart and Ella Streets just after midnight.

Footage reveals three police officers attempting to arrest a shirtless man, who is handcuffed and lying on the street in the beginning of the video. About 20 seconds in, one of the officers lifts and pushes the man against the street twice, striking him against the ground. Onlookers yell and step closer. One woman shouts, “There’s kids around!”

The officers then carry the man and attempt to put him into a police SUV, but the man appears to throw himself on the ground. A cop then places a baton under the man’s chest, picks him up from behind and swivels around. When he drops the man, the man’s head smacks against the side of an aboveground pool in the middle of the street. The officers then put him inside the vehicle.

Police declined to provide details on the man because of the ongoing investigation. A spokesperson said he was arrested for a narcotics violation. His condition was not available Wednesday. Around noon on Tuesday, Philly.com reported that he was in the hospital.

The video has been shared more than 6,000 times. Its comments are mixed, with some people claiming the man appeared to be resisting arrest and others calling the video evidence of police brutality.

Rivera, 24, told Philly.com that she recorded the video and pushed for people to share it “because this isn’t something that happens once in a blue moon in our neighborhood, this is very common.”

“A lot of people go through stuff like this,” Rivera told the news organization. “Our community is bad enough already, to be honest, we should not have to fear calling the police.”

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When Children Force Us to Remember What We’d Rather Forget

Photo Credit: Peter Morgan | AP Photo

If you’re a newcomer to Philadelphia, chances are you’ve walked by the Municipal Services Center and paid very little attention to the statue that stands in front of it.

The statue is one of Frank Rizzo, the city’s former mayor and police commissioner. Because incidents like the death of David Jones at the hands of Officer Ryan Pownall during a traffic stop were pretty commonplace during Rizzo’s watch, there have been more than a few calls for his statue to go the way of many Confederate monuments.

In the Rizzo era, police brutality was more commonplace than it should be. The best-known account of this was the time Rizzo’s officers strip-searched members of the Black Panther Party in front of a Philadelphia Daily News photographer. It wound up on the front page.

It’s Philadelphia’s history of police abuse that has led to the creation of a historical marker commemorating the May 13th, 1985 confrontation between Philadelphia police and the Black nationalist group MOVE. Unfortunately, it’s a marker without a home at the moment. Read more »

PPD Investigating Noose Found in Rittenhouse

noose

Image via Google Maps

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

The Philadelphia Police Department is investigating a noose that was discovered in Rittenhouse this morning.

According to police, a woman found the noose on the limb of a tree near 18th and Lombard streets shortly before 10 a.m. this morning. The woman alerted security at Penn Medicine Rittenhouse, which is located nearby.

Billy Penn posted a photo of the noose before police removed it from the tree.

Police said the noose was not place outside a house and did not appear to be directed towards a particular individual.

 

The incident comes several days after the New York Times published a report on a recent uptick in hate crimes involving nooses, a longtime symbol of racism and violence against African Americans. That story detailed an incident at the U.S. Mint facility in Philly, where an employee has been placed on leave for placing a noose in a colleague’s workspace last week.

Mayor Jim Kenney and Rue Landau, executive director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, released the following statement in response to the discovery of the noose and the incident at the U.S. Mint:

“It’s appalling that in 2017 anyone would commit such a vicious act as hanging a noose, a symbol of racial animus that has a painful history in this country. These symbols of hate and racially-motivated violence have no place in Philadelphia – our residents and visitors should not have to witness such abhorrent incidents in public or private settings. We urge any witnesses to the incident in Rittenhouse Square to contact the police with any information.”

 Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.

Police Searching for Suspects Wanted in Drive-by Paintball Attacks

paintball

Philadelphia police are searching for suspects who are believed to have targeted transgender people in a drive-by paintball attack.

Police say the incident happened around 4:20 p.m. Thursday in West Philadelphia. According to reports, the suspects, who were driving a a silver Infiniti M35 sedan, stopped outside the Morris Home, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center for trans and gender variant people. They allegedly fired paintballs from inside the vehicle at people sitting on the porch of the facility, which is located near 50th Street and Woodland Avenue in Kingsessing.  Read more »

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