Protesters: Philadelphia discriminates against Chinese takeout restaurants

CITY HALL (WPVI) -- Protesters converged on Philadelphia City Hall Thursday claiming Philadelphia discriminates against certain minority-owned businesses.

Hundreds called for the end of what they say is blatant discrimination against Chinese takeout restaurants.

They want a repeal or major changes in a 2005 law known as the '11 p.m. Ordinance' which requires that restaurants serving takeout food on residential blocks close by 11 p.m.

The protesters say police are enforcing against Chinese restaurants on an outrageously disproportionate percentage.

"96% of the violations were issued to only Chinese takeout restaurants. Now, the Chinese population is like 1% of the city, so 96% is just a huge number. And then we have some entities telling us, 'well, 96% is not proof.' I'm saying yes it is," Councilman David Oh said.

"There are issues we have to resolve. However, it's my understanding, the police are not currently enforcing the closing and we don't have L&I inspectors out after 11 p.m. so I understand people are expressing their views, but I don't think there's a current crisis at the moment," Mayor Jim Kenney said.

Both Mayor Kenney and Councilman Oh said the enforcement of the ordinance has been suspended as reforms are being studied and negotiated.

Oh introduced reform legislation in City Council on Thursday, but would not yet say if he has the votes to pass it.

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