|3:50 p.m. riot by 200 blacks in City Center (Philadelphia) -- what were those Jim Crow Laws all about again?|
From the air, SkyFOX captured an enormous amount of activity in the area of Chestnut near 15th Street in Center City. On the ground FOX 29 cameras were there as police moved in and arrested more than a dozen teens after a fight between two girls grew into a melee involving nearly 200.
"It got crazy. Everybody was pushing and shoving," said Nicholas Adams. The sneaker store where he worked even locked its doors.
Adams said, "We didn't want them running into our store knocking stuff over. We had people inside the store who we didn't want to let out because we didn't want them to get trampled."
Police arrested more than a dozen teens as the rowdy kids ran toward Broad Street.Lakia Garrick watched it from her job at Wendy's on the corner.
"All of a sudden, all these kids just started running in here. Then the cops came in and cleared the store out and told us we can't serve nobody until they cleared downtown," Garrick said.
As police cleared the street and dispersed crowds of people watching, some of the teens also got violent with them.
"Bottles were thrown at police but no injuries to police," said Chief Inspector Cynthia Dorsey.
Gilbert Hernandez had a clear view of it all from the window of his pizza shop. "I saw them running back and forth, back and forth."
Most in the area say they see this every year and it was only a matter of time before it happened again.
"We were waiting for it. Every time it gets warm out they just act crazy," said Lakia.
Police say about three schools in the area were letting out around the time the brawl happened. Bike cops already in the area acted quickly to restore order. Police are looking to step up presence even more in wake of what happened.
Through the updated law, minors 13 and under will have a curfew of 8:00 PM during the school year and 9:00 PM during the summer. Minors ages 14 through 15 will have a 9:00 PM curfew during the school year and a 10:00 PM curfew during the summer. Minors ages 16 and 17 will have a 10:00 PM curfew during the school year and an 11:00 PM curfew during the summer.
If caught breaking curfew, minors will be transported to the PPD district station where their parents or guardians will be contacted. They will receive a notice or citation when they collect their child from the station. If a parent or guardian cannot be reached, PPD will contact the Department of Human Services (DHS) to initiate an investigation. Minors can be temporarily excused from the curfew if engaged in lawful employment, participating in legitimate business as directed by the minor’s parents, on active duty with the U.S. Armed Services, or if the minor is with a parent or guardian.
During the summer, Mayor Nutter instituted a 9:00 PM curfew for all minors in targeted enforcement areas on Friday and Saturday nights. The curfew included increased enforcement by the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) and law enforcement agencies. It was part of a comprehensive response to youth violence that included temporarily expanded recreation center hours and encouraging businesses to register with the PPD’s SafeCam initiative.
Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown added, “This measure gives law enforcement officials an important tool that they have requested to deter youth violence. Provided that it is used fairly and compassionately, it can be an important piece of the puzzle to building a safer City.”