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Mandatory Curfew Implemented For Philadelphia, Gov. Wolf Signs Emergency Declaration As George Floyd Protests Turn Violent

PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) -- Mayor Jim Kenney has implemented a mandatory citywide curfew as protests have turned violent in Philadelphia. The curfew is effective tonight at 8 p.m. through Sunday at 6 a.m.

The curfew will also go back into effect Sunday night at 8 p.m.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has also signed an emergency declaration to assist Philadelphia.

"People have every right to speak out and demonstrate, but it's unacceptable to take advantage of protests to incite violence, harm others and destroy property," Gov. Wolf said. "This declaration authorizes the commonwealth and its agencies to assist municipalities in their response to de-escalate violence and keep our communities safe."

"I appreciate Governor Wolf for heeding our request for additional state support," Mayor Jim Kenney said. "This emergency declaration will help Philadelphia access resources and police support from other jurisdictions, including other states, as we manage the impact of this weekend's demonstrations."

City officials, including the mayor and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, addressed the protests during a press conference Saturday night, calling it "unacceptable."

"The anger being displayed now and this afternoon cannot and will not continue," Kenney said. "We all have reasons to be deeply disturbed by systemic racism that has plagued our society for far too long and 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 has taken place today in our city and across the nation is unacceptable. None of today's acts of violence or damage to property will do anything to restore faith and trust between the police and communities of color."

The mayor went on to say acts of violence and destruction will not be justified.

"I have never seen a group of people have more restraint, putting up with what they put up with — spit at, bottles thrown at them, urine thrown at them, caustic agents and balloons thrown in their eyes," Kenney said. "We will continue to hold bad cops accountable and will hold those who committed these acts today accountable also."

Outlaw said at least 13 officers were injured during the protests and additional law enforcement help has been requested from Montgomery and Bucks Counties.

There were also civilians injured during the protests. Police say a total of 14 arrests have been made.

Philadelphia Police Car Set On Fire
(credit: CBS3)

Police and protesters clashed on Saturday afternoon as multiple police vehicles and structures were set on fire, including several police vehicles and businesses on the 1700 block of Walnut Street. Looting has also taken place in the area of West Walnut and West Chestnut Streets in Center City. People could be seen jumping into store windows and stealing whatever they could get their hands on.

Everywhere from the Apple Store, to Sephora, to the Philadelphia Running Store and Gap, people have smashed windows, walked in, filled school bags they brought with them and walked away.

Saturday's protests stem from the death of George Floyd, the man who died while police arrested him in Minneapolis earlier this week.

"If God gives you life, who are you to take another person's life?" protester Winnie Weh said.

The protest began at noon outside of City Hall. Hundreds of people knelt in silence in honor of George Floyd. The move was symbolic. Floyd died after an altercation with a Minneapolis police officer who knelt on his neck.

"We really need to change the narrative and we really need to stop the cops from killing black men and black women and getting away with it," protestor Camille Murphy said.

At the height of the peaceful Art Museum protest, there were approximately 3,000 demonstrators.

"The people that were doing the actual protests were not the problem," Kenney said.

Later in the afternoon, the crowd grew less silent. They marched down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to the Art Museum. Holding signs demanding people speak up. One said, "silence doesn't change the world."

"There were people from all walks of life out there, young, old, even children. White, black Asian. It was great," protestor Camille Murphy said.

But the mood of the protest changed after participants departed the iconic Rocky Steps.

Outlaw said others converged on Center City and started committing acts of vandalism.

"The demonstrators exercising their first amendment rights at City Hall and the Art Museum did so peacefully," tweeted Philadelphia Police. "We appreciate their voice and their manner of expression. However, since that time, others have convened in Center City and are committing criminal acts, including vandalism. Those acts will not be tolerated, and we strongly encourage everyone to refrain from entering Center City. We will continue provide updates throughout the evening."

The Friday's restaurant building on the Parkway was spray-painted and a scuffle broke out between an officer and a protester outside the Municipal Services Building.

In Dilworth Park, a pop-up Starbucks was set on fire.

Protesters broke windows at Philadelphia's City Hall. Windows were also smashed at a TD Bank at 15th Street and JFK Boulevard.

Protesters also sprayed graffiti on a statue of former Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo as they attempted to topple it and light it on fire. Rizzo, who served from 1972 to 1980, was praised by supporters as tough on crime but accused by critics of discriminating against minorities. His 10-foot-tall bronze statue outside the Municipal Services Building, across from City Hall, has been defaced before and is to be moved next year.

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Protests are also taking place across Pennsylvania as Gov. Tom Wolf is encouraging everyone involved to be peaceful and safe.

"As Pennsylvanians protest, I urge everyone involved to be peaceful and to keep each other safe," Wolf said. "Throughout the day, my Administration has been in touch with municipalities, and we have offered whatever assistance is needed to keep our communities from suffering from additional violence and pain. Please stay safe, and remember that we all must look out for each other as we seek to make our commonwealth more just and fair for everyone."

George Floyd Rally
(credit: CBS3)

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There is currently no public transit running into Center City because of all the chaos.

CBS3's Howard Monroe, Matt Petrillo, and Dan Koob contributed to this report.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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