'Rally for Justice' demands changes to Philadelphia Police Department

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- About 100 people rallied in front of Philadelphia City Hall on Friday afternoon to demand changes to the police department after 13 officers were fired over the summer for racist Facebook posts.

"I was angry because we pay these people's salaries and they're openly saying without fear of a consequence that they hate us," said Solomon Jones, who was there representing the Rally for Justice Coalition.

The change he and others are demanding would come with a new police contract.

They want officers to live in the city.

"Two, if you see one of your colleagues abusing somebody and you do nothing, you're accountable for that too," he said.

And three, if an officer is sued for misconduct, the group wants that officer to pay part of the cost.

"The Police Department wholly recognizes that accountability and transparency are essential in restoring and strengthening community trust and engagement. We are committed to making continuous strides toward improvements in those areas," said Police Spokesman Captain Sekou Kinebrew in a statement in response to the rally.

The current police contract expires in 2020. The protestors are demanding the changes be made part of the new contract, otherwise they'll ask city council to not pass the budget.

"You have to weed out the bad apples," explained Hassan Bennett.

Change is important to Bennett, who was recently freed after more than a decade behind bars for a crime he didn't commit.

"I lost 13 years of my life. I look at my nieces, my nephews, my cousin. I look at all the youth and I'm like this could be you guys when you grow up," he said.
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