Philly police commissioner changes use-of-force rules during protests

Kristen Johanson
June 03, 2020 - 9:22 am
George Floyd protest in Philadelphia

Andrew Kramer/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — In a letter sent to the police department, Outlaw instructed officers to report any "use of force" through police radio. She wants to monitor what happens, she wrote, "to properly defend our actions when we are ultimately challenged."

She said the tear gas deployed in a clash Monday between cops and protesters on I-676 on  was "necessary," but she hopes to never do it again.

Related: Philly mayor, police commissioner defend use of tear gas on protesters

Outlaw reminded officers of the constitutional right of a free press, noting cops must be as "accommodating as possible" to journalists. If they have questions of the legitimacy of a reporter, officers are instructed to call a supervisor.

This comes after the recent arrests of local reporters covering protests.

"Any officer willing to show a sign of solidarity for George Floyd and his family are free to do so," but she added it was a personal decision for each officer. 

"Acts of solidarity for the family of George Floyd or any other murder victim should not be construed as acquiescence to the criminals looting the city or even to the vile rhetoric being strewn upon officers by protestors."

Outlaw thanked all of the officers for their dedication, saying she was proud of how they were working.