UPDATED: 10 p.m.
Many protesters took a knee for George Floyd, the black Minneapolis man whose death during an arrest sparked national outrage and civil unrest. They begged police officers at City Hall to do the same.
Some protesters seemed to be prepared for the tear gas, offering other demonstrators water bottles to flush out their eyes.
Aside from the traffic hazard, the protest was relatively peaceful.
Still, police started making mass arrests on the expressway after the tear gas dispersed many protesters.
“They’re here to protect their neighbors. These are the neighbors they’ve known their entire lives. They’re mom and dad have grown up with their parents. It’s always been like this in Fishtown,” she said.
Those same officers followed behind on bikes to make sure things don’t get out of hand — which they didn’t. There was no looting or violence during this particular protest.
Some pedestrians joined in on the chants as protesters marched by. Others said “thank you” to some officers.
Amid the outrage, Mayor Jim Kenney provided a brief update Monday on the chaos from the weekend.
“I am frankly extremely disappointed by the number of people who ignored the curfew, especially minors,” he said. “This curfew is not just imposed to protect property and businesses, it’s imposed to protect our residents.”
He issued a plea similar to his ongoing coronavirus decree: “You can do your part by staying home and making sure your family members stay home. Parents: Please do your part by making sure your children — especially teens and preteens — stay home.”
All this, meanwhile, occurring during the coronavirus pandemic and the Pennsylvania primary election on Tuesday. Kenney asked for an extension for the deadline for mail-in ballots, and Monday evening, Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive order extending the deadline for mail-in ballots in Philadelphia county and five other counties.
Kenney added that poll workers will be provided with PPE, and in-person voters will receive gloves.
“With our residents under curfew tonight and potentially tomorrow, these actions are appropriate and much-needed,” he said.
Kenney again enacted a citywide curfew, starting 6 p.m. Monday through 6 a.m. Tuesday. The nightly curfew on election day is postponed to 8:30 p.m., a half hour after polls close.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said incidents of looting, vandalism and arson were rampant over the weekend, echoing the mayor: “These criminal acts are completely disconnected from any noble cause.”
Eighteen officers were injured — two are still hospitalized.
Police also responded to 21 shooting victims.
On a regular day, the city would average about 3,000 calls to 911. On one day over the weekend, they received 18,000 calls.
“What you’re seeing across the country right now is unlike any of us have seen,” said Outlaw. “We have been sitting on a powder keg for quite some time, and it has burst. You layer that with a level of the anger that’s been pent up. And then you add technology.”
She said the way police have been managing crowds over the years will have to change, as protesters have developed “countertactics” and “they’re very smart in how they do this. This is very coordinated.”
Gov. Tom Wolf also met with Kenney and the Philadelphia Police Department, where they discussed “how we can support the black community during this difficult time.”
While the governor has been helpful, Kenney condemned President Donald Trump, who he said has done nothing for Philadelphia amid the chaos.
“The president should know a mess when he sees it because he is a mess,” the mayor said. “He’s brought no help, nothing. All he knows how to do is tweet and create division. It’s enough.”
In a call with governors Monday, Trump called Philadelphia weak for failing to enforce law and order over the weekend.
The city was also supposed to move to the yellow phase of reopening on Friday. but the mayor says that's now in question.
“If you look at all we're tied up with, pandemic, a depression, civil unrest and an election. There's only so many resources that we have,” Kenney said.