Police: 5 Philly residents among 103 cited during DNC

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Friday, July 29, 2016

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia police said that as of Thursday evening, a total of 103 people have been cited during the Democratic National Convention.

That number includes five city residents.

That announcement came as severe weather sent protesters scrambling for cover.

Philadelphia police circled FDR Park, warning the protesters who were camped out to seek shelter ahead of the storms' arrival.

"They are not evacuating, but suggested it and they themselves are getting to cover," said John Friedrich of Chapel Hill, N.C.

Severe weather had some protesters at the DNC scrambling for cover.

"We are not going anywhere tonight. Our stuff is going to stay dry in the car, that's all we're concerned about. We are not afraid to get wet, we're not afraid to swim," said Dan Finn of Detroit.

The park was quite on Thursday afternoon. That was the case on Wednesday afternoon, but around 10:30 p.m. several protesters stormed a fence at the Wells Fargo Center.

However, the more aggressive protests have been few, thanks in large part to protesters themselves and police

"I've been surprised by the discretion of the police, actually. I think they've been going out of their way to keep things calm," said Friedrich.

"99% of the time we've maintained a peaceful protest, a passive protest, but yet organized with a message," Finn said.

Days of mostly peaceful demonstrations ended Wednesday with a woman badly injured putting out a burning flag and seven arrests after masked protesters tried to get into a Secret Service secure zone outside of Wells Fargo Center.

"There's a lot of energy and not everyone knows how to channel it efficiently, so that's not really representative of everyone as a whole, especially trying to cut open a fence, but it's at least a passion," Bernie Sanders supporter and delegate Sarah Long of Lansing, Michigan said.

Long says it's been a roller coaster week especially after Hillary Clinton was formally nominated on Tuesday.

"There was a lot of tension and animosity between us and all of the Hillary supporters," Long said.

Demonstrators tied themselves to a railing at the Comcast Center in Philadelphia as the city prepared for Day 3 of the Democratic National Convention.

About 100 officers on bike patrol were gathered at Thomas Paine Plaza across the street from City Hall Thursday morning ready to be deployed throughout the city.

"Some days we are doing about 40 miles a day; yesterday we did less, of course, some days more than others. But we put some miles on these bikes," Philadelphia Police Captain Joseph Bologna said.

They'll be out protecting civilians and demonstrators like Bruce Carter, the founder of Black Men for Bernie, exercising their first amendment right during a week when all eyes are on Philly.

"I don't call what we do protesting, I call what we do more celebrating and keeping people inspired to never lose hope," Carter said.

PHOTOS: The 2016 DNC in Philadelphia

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Former President Bill Clinton hugs his wife Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

"When they see that we're showing them respect and we're protecting their right to free speech, it breaks down all barriers," Bologna said.