Sunday, May 31, 2020

Mayor, Police Commissioner Fiddle While Philly Burns

By Ralph Cipriano

The day before Philadelphia went up in flames, Mayor Jim Kenney sent a message to the invaders who were coming to loot and pillage his hometown.

After publicly lamenting America's "original sin of racism," Kenney pledged that the city police were going to be "respectful" of the protesters who were supposedly showing up just to "express their anger, express their concern" over the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.

Meanwhile, in the week before the city went up in flames, the police department knew the demonstrators were coming, and they also knew that outside agitators were guaranteed to show up as well. But on game day, the police under the leadership of rookie Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw were woefully unprepared for the mayhem that unfolded. For about an hour, criminals looted, pillaged and burned stores in Center City with impunity, while the police were nowhere in sight.

It's not as if the Philadelphia police doesn't know how to handle demonstrations and much larger crowds. The city didn't burn and looters weren't allowed to freely wreak havoc when Philadelphia celebrated the Phillies winning the World Series in 2008, and when the Eagles had their Super Bowl parade in 2018.

But yesterday in Philadelphia, the cops didn't dress in riot gear. There were no police dogs around or cops on horseback that would have done a lot to control the crowds.

The cops were told not to use pepper spray or Tasers.

In short, nobody was going to play offense. Under the "leadership" of Kenney and Outlaw, everybody was playing defense, and backpedaling all the way.

As a result, the invaders came and pillaged Center City stores at will for about an hour before the cops showed up. I asked a few cops I know why the police were nowhere in sight while the rioters were seen on live TV smashing windows, ravaging one store after store, and setting buildings on fire. While the cops were stacked up at City Hall and the Municipal Services Building. And squads of cops on bikes stood idly by.

Why were the police standing down? According to one seasoned cop who preferred to remain anonymous, it was a matter of self-preservation.

"We knew we would be fired and arrested by Outlaw, Kenney, [Managing Director Brian] Abernathy and [District Attorney Larry] Krasner if we did what needed to be done," the cop said. "So instead, no one did anything and none of us are locked up, or fired."

"See what you get when you don't support the police?"

It stands to reason. With a D.A. like Krasner, who frees armed and dangerous criminals but indicts cops, no cop can feel safe. And with a left-winger like Kenney in charge and a rookie police commissioner doing what she's told, if you're a cop, you know that nobody has your back.

Instead, they'll all line up to hang you, first in the media, and then in the courts.

At the microphones yesterday at the obligatory press conference, while stores and cop cars were up in flames, and more than a dozen cops were in the hospital, Mayor Kenney was still talking about how most of the protesters had expressed their concerns "passionately but also very peacefully."

As if that still mattered while the city was burning.

Commissioner Outlaw was just as weak, saying "It's a very delicate balance" for the cops to allow protesters to protest, but also to keep rioters from rioting. And looters from looting.

Outlaw talked about the risk that the cops might "further incite" the demonstrators. They had to be treated with "respect," she said, adding, "We clearly have to set a tone" while teaching "the young folks out there who are misguided" to show them how to "find other peaceful ways to relate the narrative."

While the police commissioner was giving her speech, those misguided young folks were out there on live TV setting police cars and stores on fires, and smashing store windows and grabbing new sneakers.

When asked why the cops stood down while the looters were pillaging Center City, Outlaw responded that "the majority of our resources at that time were at the MSB [Municipal Services Building], but also around City Hall."

"Unfortunately, it took an hour to gather up additional resources and get them down there," she said about the looting in Center City.

Great planning, Ms. Police Commissioner. By the time yesterday afternoon rolled around and the order went out to redeploy the troops, it was already too late.

Even FOP President John McNesby, who so far has been a staunch supporter of the new police commissioner, joined the ranks of the critics.

On Twitter, McNesby asked if the Police Department's Internal Affairs Bureau can "handle complaints for lack of strategic planning, leadership and basic understanding of crowd control? Asking for a few thousand friends."

Some cops complained throughout the day about the whereabouts of the police commissioner. The story line went that Outlaw had supposedly spent most of Saturday holed up at the Emergency Operations Center in the basement of the Fire Department headquarters at Third and Spring Garden, rather than being out on the front lines with the troops.

But Inspector Sekou Kinebrew refuted that, saying that Outlaw was "repeatedly in and out; she was in the field, at the hospital and in the EOC."

Meanwhile, the city's brilliant Managing Director, Brian Abernathy, reminded reporters at the press conference that the city was still in the middle of a pandemic. Perhaps he was worried that the rioters might infect each other while they were looting the city by not practicing social distancing.

When it came time to wrap things up for the TV cameras, Mayor Kenney, who had just failed miserably at his most fundamental duty to protect the city, said that "It's very disappointing and very upsetting to see your city go through this."

Like it was something that couldn't be avoided.

"It's disappointing," said the mayor, who once again felt the need to point out that "the people who were doing the actual protests were not the problem," but it was "this rag tag group that are destructive folks."

Yo Mr. Mayor! I'm sure glad that protest was a success! But those destructive folks who showed up all dressed in black and ready to rumble sure did cause a lot of destruction. Millions of dollars worth. And the city was still smoldering.

And the fact that you failed to protect the city, or back your own cops, who are too cowed these days to protect the citizens, that's all on you and your administration.

Today, the looting extended to Kensington Avenue, West Philadelphia and City Avenue as under the failed leadership of Kenney, Outlaw, Abernathy & Krasner, lawlessness continued to prevail.

But all is not lost. The carnage has finally motivated Mayor Kenney to take decisive action.

Today, Kenney announced that he's going to move the statue of Frank Rizzo, a big target of the demonstrators, from the Municipal Services Building to another undisclosed location.

That move should go a long way toward restoring law and order in the city.

"I can't wait to see it go away," the courageous mayor said about the statue that couldn't talk back.


  1. Philadelphia's vaunted Delta Force was emasculated by Commissioner Outlaw into firing zero bullets at thuggish thieves, yet they stoutly defended City Hall by scaring off more arsonists from the building.

    I predict reconstruction and restocking costs will total in the amount of 125M payable by the city so desperate to save retail and avoid the specter of shuttered powercenters, strip malls and Tony retail near Rittenhouse Square. The lawyers will see the feckless Mayor tomorrow

    A satire concerning the statue

    1. Byko and Kenney were in love like two bitches in heat in the Gayborhood and were once a popular Comedy Act.

  3. When civilization pays deference to savages the result is anarchy. Though never a big fan of Frank Rizzo, he knew how to handle a situation like this and the effective methods are still common knowledge among the Police Departments better high level officers. Instead, our city burns and bows to anarchists who don't care who gets hurt or how badly. Try to open your small business, enter a Wawa without a mask, try to lead an ordinary life and you might be arrested. Meanwhile, savages pillage a once-great American city. Beyond disgusting, this is the mark of a degenerate society. I am glad that my ancestors, who worked their asses off for everything they ever had, are not around now to witness how we have failed them.

  4. I agree that without strong support from the top ranks of the police and city government, the police are in a no win situation to stop violence or destruction without putting their own security or careers on the line. Breath some life into that Rizzo statue.


Thoughtful commentary welcome. Trolling, harassing, and defaming not welcome. Consistent with 47 U.S.C. 230, we have the right to delete without warning any comments we believe are obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.