Guidance from the City of Philadelphia:
Following the decision by a Jefferson County grand jury regarding the killing of Breonna Taylor, City officials and the Philadelphia Police Department shared plans to prepare for potential protest activity and large crowds. At this time, the City is aware of one known protest planned for this evening. Additional demonstrations could develop in real-time.
“I know that many Philadelphians are feeling disappointed, frustrated, and even outraged, following today’s announcement by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron,” said Mayor Kenney. “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.”
The Philadelphia Police Department will increase officer presence in Center City, including around commercial areas and other key locations. Roving officer details will also be deployed to commercial districts throughout the city. Police traffic patrol will be in place for planned demonstrations, and drivers should expect some delays in the area surrounding City Hall.
The City is not encouraging businesses to close down early. Businesses can 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.
The City is not recommending that all storefront businesses board up all doors or windows. However, any businesses that are openly accessible because of past vandalism or other reasons should board up so that their properties are properly sealed off. If vandalism appears imminent, business owners are encouraged to secure their property as best and safely as possible. If businesses see vandalism in progress, they are encouraged to call 911.