Mayor Kenney: Philadelphia to waive protest-related code violation notices

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Mayor Jim Kenney announced on Wednesday that the City of Philadelphia will waive all code violation notices issued during recent protests.

The waiver covers notices issued between May 30 and June 30, 2020.

It includes CVNs for disorderly conduct, failure to disperse, curfew violations and related offenses.

Novae Barnes says she was heavily invested in the movement and adds the cause of Black Lives Matter justifies all actions.

"It didn't have to be like that. We just wanted to get our point across. We're all angry and people express their anger in different ways," said Barnes.

Some believe those who did damage won't be held accountable.

"If you wanna protest you protest for the right reasons, you don't protest to destroy or damage," said Ray Benns.

Nick Reilly said, "It's a fine line, but I'm not down with property being damaged."

Mayor Kenney says this does not include any criminal matters that are within the purview of the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office.

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Anyone who received a CVN between May 30 and June 30 and has not paid does not need to take any action, Kenney said.

Anyone who has paid can contact OAR customer service at 215-567-2605 and follow the procedures for a refund.

In a statement, Kenney said:

"My decision to waive these violations is not a statement on the validity of the individual citations," said the Mayor. "Rather, it is a recognition of the core concerns that caused thousands to demonstrate on the streets of Philadelphia. In waiving these notices, I recognize that those issues are vitally important, that the pain of those marching is very real, and that their message -- Black lives matter -- needs to be heard every day until systemic racism is fully eradicated from this city and nation."

"As City officials and employees focus on reform and reconciliation, the City must use its administrative resources consistent with those efforts," said City Solicitor Marcel S. Pratt. "We believe that moving forward with these CVNs would have served no useful purpose, and we are glad that the Mayor approved our recommendation that they be waived."

Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5 responded later Wednesday afternoon:

"Mayor Kenney and city leaders have again apologized to those who displayed unacceptable and criminal behavior in our great city. It's sad to see the Mayor and his staff have endorsed outright lawlessness and given up any attempt to hold people accountable for criminal activity. And we question, why our city has a major crime problem?"
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