Philadelphia leaders react to unrest in Minneapolis following death of George Floyd

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Though more than 1,100 miles away from Philadelphia, the protests unfolding in Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd were not far from the minds of city leaders on Friday.

"In the midst of a global pandemic, America's original sin of racism has not gone dormant," said Mayor Jim Kenney during his daily briefing.

Kenney addressed the unrest in the Twin Cities that has escalated into crowds torching a police station and looting stores.

"Black Americans are outraged and they should be. I'm outraged too. As a white man, I will never know the heartbreak and trauma that the black community continues to experience," he said.

Kenney, also critical of President Trump's tweet, incidentally flagged by Twitter for violating their rules for "glorifying violence" for stating "when the looting start, the shooting starts". As well as, the detainment of a Black and Latino CNN reporter his production staff while reporting on the protests.

VIDEO: CNN reporter arrested on live TV covering George Floyd protests
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CNN reporter Omar Jiminez is arrested by the Minnesota State Patrol in Minneapolis on live TV while reporting on the aftermath of the protests.

Later, the president tweeted in part saying "I don't want this happen..." adding "It was spoken as a fact, not a statement."

Minnesota's governor also later apologizing for the arrest.

Kenney said that he and the other leaders in the city are committed to serving the community.

"I want Philadelphians to know that (Philadelphia Police) Commissioner (Danielle) Outlaw and her team are committed to serving our communities with fairness and sincerity," Kenney said.

Outlaw addressed some of the tensions towards law enforcement on Friday morning following the shooting of an off-duty police officer in South Philadelphia.

"Regardless of what tensions exist in the community, we still show up. We still fulfill our obligations to keep people safe and that's what we'll continue to do," Outlaw said.

Her comments followed a statement she released on the death of George Floyd writing in part, "communities of color are tired of reliving atrocities such as this over and over again. They are sick and tired of being sick and tired."

Going onto to explain the challenges as a mother and police officer in having to hear her children's worry, "because of the unjustified fear other have of them, solely due to the their existence."

Kenney ending his remarks with this message to residents: "I want black Philadelphians to know that I and other city leaders stand with them and are here to support them during this painful time."

A "Justice for George Floyd" protest is planned for Saturday afternoon at City Hall.

Police and city officials said while they don't expect anything remotely similar to what's been unfolding in Minneapolis, they are confident they're prepared to address any situation that could unfold.
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