Philadelphia Prepares for Protests in Wake of Breonna Taylor Case
Philadelphia officials and police are preparing for protests in the wake of today's news from Louisville, Kentucky. Earlier on Wednesday, none of the police officers involved in the Breonna Taylor case were directly indicted in her death.
Closer to home, Philadelphia officials say they are aware that one protest has been planned for this evening. However, they note that additional demonstrations could develop tonight (and in the coming days) in real-time.
An increased police presence will be deployed throughout the city including around commercial and other key locations, they say.
The City of Philadelphia, however, is NOT recommending that all storefront businesses board up all doors or windows.
Instead, businesses that are openly accessible (because of past vandalism or other reasons) are encouraged to board up so that their properties are properly sealed off, the city said on Wednesday.
“I know that many Philadelphians are feeling disappointed, frustrated, and even outraged, following today’s announcement by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron,” Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement. “The City of Philadelphia fully supports the First Amendment rights of our residents, but we also want to ensure that any demonstration activity that happens is done in a safe, lawful manner. We are not aware of any specific threats of violence or looting, but we are sharing guidance to help businesses be prepared in case the situation escalates.”
Businesses throughout the city are encouraged to take the following steps to prepare for large crowds and potential protest activity:
- Bring signs, flags, flower pots or any other non-fixed objects inside.
- Keep the property well-lit when the business is closed.
- If security cameras are installed, make sure they are in working order and you have data storage available before leaving the property; windows, doors, and any access points should be visible to the cameras.
- Secure all commercial dumpsters.
One of the officers in the March 13 raid on Breonna Taylor's apartment was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree by a Kentucky grand jury on Wednesday. The charges filed against that officer, Brett Hankison, are related to firing blindly into the apartment complex and recklessly endangering neighbors.
Preparations for protesting are underway in cities across the nation following today's news. Federal buildings in Louisville have been closed to the public in advance of today's ruling. Business owners in Louisville have been seen boarding up their windows anticipating unrest in the city in the coming days. The city of Louisville announced a 72-hour curfew starting at 9 pm this evening.