Democratic Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is throwing out hundreds of citations handed out to protesters over the past month in the wake of the George Floyd killing, PhillyVoice reported.
What are the details?
Philadelphia’s Law Department and Office of Administrative Review previously recommended that the city drop most civil citations handed out during the height of protest activity, the outlet said, adding that while they don’t carry criminal charges, such citations typically come with fines. For Philly protesters, they also came with arrests and time in jail until violations could be processed, PhillyVoice said.
“My decision to waive these violations is not a statement on the validity of the individual citations,” Kenney said, according to the outlet. “Rather, it is a recognition of the core concerns that caused thousands to demonstrate on the streets of Philadelphia. In waiving these notices, I recognize that those issues are vitally important, that the pain of those marching is very real, and that their message — black lives matter — needs to be heard every day until systemic racism is fully eradicated from this city and nation.”
The two most common civil citations from the protests were failure to disperse and curfew violations, PhillyVoice said, adding that the fines are $50 and $25, respectively.
Civil citations for disorderly conduct and related offenses, as well as all curfew violations, will be waived if they occurred between May 30 and June 30, the outlet said.
Criminal arrests and charges — e.g., looting or burglary — will still be pursued and prosecuted, PhillyVoice said.
Those who’ve received civil violations and haven’t paid fines yet don’t need to take any further action, the outlet said, adding that those who’ve paid fines can get refunds.
Between May 29 and June 25, police handed out 80 citations for disorderly conduct, 316 for curfew violations, 21 for defiant trespass, 338 for failure to disperse, and one for vandalism, PhillyVoice said.
City Solicitor Marcel S. Pratt told the outlet that taking action on such citations “would have served no useful purpose, and we are glad that the mayor approved our recommendation that they be waived.”
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(H/T: The Police Tribune)