More than 200 residents gathered in South Philadelphia Tuesday night to rally against a group of women who they claim have attacked several members of their neighborhood. The protesters also criticized Philadelphia Police officers in the 3rd District, claiming they were slow to take action.
The protesters gathered at 4th and Wolf streets around 6:30 p.m.
“Over the past two weeks the same group of four females have attacked a young woman (no arrest made), stolen a cell phone from a 10 year old (no arrest made), threatened a mother and her newborn child (no arrest made) and invaded a home and beat a woman (no arrest made),” a protest organizer wrote. “This neighborhood has been terrorized by these women and the Philadelphia Police Department District 3 has taken no action.”
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The protesters told NBC10 they believe the attacks were racially motivated and accused police of not doing enough to protect them.
“The police need to start treating criminals as criminals and victims as victims,” said one protester.
The victims of the alleged attacks, who did not want to be identified, attended the rally and spoke with NBC10.
“Punching, scratching, kicking, cursing, threatening, you name it,” said one man who claimed he was a victim.
A woman also told NBC10 two of the attackers pushed their way into her home when she tried to protect the man’s 11-year-old son.
“I guess it was a mother’s instinct but I just went and grabbed the little boy out of harm’s way and threw him in my house,” the woman said. “Next thing I know I got them in my house beating me and spitting on me.”
The woman said she suffered a black eye and a contusion during the incident. Another woman said she was with her newborn baby when the group charged at her.
“They came running up the street towards us, screaming at us,” the woman said.
The protesters directed some of their anger at the 3rd District Captain who attended the rally to hear their concerns.
“They’re disgruntled with the police and it’s their right to voice that to us,” said Philadelphia Police Captain Frank Miller. “I made it known to them that we’re here to support them.”
Philadelphia City Councilman Mark Squilla told NBC10 an investigation into the initial police response is underway.
“We think they might have been under the impression of a different call that was happening on the 400 block and therefore they thought they resolved that,” he said.
Internal Affairs is investigating the police response and interviewing the officers involved. The District Attorney’s Office will decide whether charges will be filed.