In Wake of Police Shootings Protesters March Through Philadelphia

The latest in a series of protests in the wake of deadly shootings by police in Baton Rouge and Minnesota blocked traffic in in Center City Philadelphia Monday morning. [[386311671, C]]

The protesters, many white, with a message of asking Mayor Jim Kenney to "take a stand for black lives and stop bailing out crooked cops" gathered outside City Hall around 8 a.m. A short time later, the group, holding banners and chanting the names of people of color killed by police blocked traffic at 15th and Market streets. [[386284961, C]]

Around 8:30 a.m., the Up for Racial Justice protesters -- which swelled to around 125 to 150 people of different races -- began a march on area streets, marching up Market Street before turning toward the Ben Franklin Parkway then toward Vine Street before heading back toward City Hall.

As they marched, the group chanted, "Hey, hey, ho,ho, these killing cops have gotta go." [[386291131, C]]

Officers on bicycles moved along with the protesters and other officers blocked traffic as they passed.

"When you weigh that against the opportunity for people to exercise their First Amendment Rights, obviously, that trumps traffic," said Philadelphia Police chief Inspector Joe Sullivan.

Once back at City Hall, the protesters continued to chant while in the City Hall courtyard before appearing to disperse around 9:30 a.m. [[386291711, C]]

Volunteer John Bergen said the group wanted to show that a large number of white Americans are troubled by the recent shootings of black men by police. The SURJ group also planned protests Monday in five other towns across the country.

Another protest began in North Philadelphia shortly before 6 p.m. Protesters gathered at Broad Street and Cecil B. Moore and began marching.

An interfaith and multicultural rally also took place in Allentown at 6 p.m. while a Black Lives Matter rally and march started at 8th and King in Wilmington, Delaware, also at 6 p.m.

NBC10’s Tim Furlong is in Wilmington where another group is gearing up for a “Black Lives Matter” protest.

Monday marked the sixth consecutive day of protests in the Philadelphia area in response to the police shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile in St. Paul Minnesota. [[386233241, C]]

Philadelphia's demonstrations without arrests stand in stark contrast to others across the nation, some of which left officers with injuries and protesters in handcuffs.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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