May and June 2020, heroic PPD police officers, outnumbered, outmatched
and with no support from local officials, battled the violent hateful
BLM mobs rampaging through West Philly.
racist mobs looted small businesses in the mostly black area,
destroying lives and livelihoods, while assaulting police officers and
anyone who tried to get in their way. Buildings were set on fire and
mobs shrieking “Black Lives Matter” and other racist slogans hurled
rocks, bricks and Molotov cocktails at officers who were risking their
lives to stop the violence.
Some local residents who had enough also defied the rioting mobs and joined with a community group known as, “Take Back the Streets” to line up and stand in the way of the rioters.
“Shattered windows, burned clothes, businesses destroyed,” the Philadelphia Inquirer headlined its coverage of the aftermath. “In Philadelphia, residents couldn’t find the words and simply shook their heads as they stepped over piles of ash and peered into shattered windows.”
“‘I can’t stop walking or I’ll start crying,’ a woman told her daughter as they stepped over a scorched mannequin.”
The rioters had left behind graffiti taking credit for the attack and referencing the slogans of the BLM hate group, including, “I can’t breathe” and “Justice 4 Floyd” referring to George Floyd, a career criminal who had robbed a woman at gunpoint and whose drug overdose death while being restrained by police had been used to justify the latest round of race riots.
Now the payoff is coming, not for the small business owners, but for the rioting mobs.
New York City offered a record $6 million payout to “F___ the Police” protesters because while restraining them the NYPD officers “frequently failed to wear masks”, now Philly is offering another record $9.25 million payoff to the racist mobs in West Philly. Not to their victims.
“We hope this settlement will provide some healing from the harm experienced by people in their neighborhoods in West Philadelphia,” Mayor Jim Kenney, who has presided over record crime rates, said of the $9 million payoff snatched from the mouths of hungry children.
In 2014, the year before Kenney was elected, there were 248 murders in Philadelphia. In 2022, that number had more than doubled to 516. This year there have already been 92. In 2020, the year of the BLM pro-crime riots, murders shot up from 353 to 499. In 2021, they hit 562: the worst numbers in Philly history. That’s what real “harm” in West Philly looks like.
This $9 million payoff is based in part on a complaint that while police officers were ducking bricks and Molotov cocktails, they fired off tear gas which caused “difficulty breathing” and “mental trauma”.
The officers hit with bricks and explosive devices don’t get to sue for their “mental trauma”. And the small business owners and other civilians are entirely out of luck after suffering millions in losses and untold amounts of mental trauma at the hands of the rioting BLM mobs.
Nor do the more than 30 officers injured in the subsequent riots after they were banned from using rubber bullets and tear gas against the racist mobs trying to kill them. That included the 56-year-old female police sergeant hit by a black pickup truck leaving her with a broken leg.
Philly Democrats made it clear early on that there would be no justice after the riots. Soros DA Larry Krasner, whose pro-crime policies have been blamed for much of the city’s crime wave, announced that he would avoid prosecuting 80% of those arrested. Instead, they’d be routed through a pro-crime ‘restorative justice’ model in which the criminal offers some sort of apology and promises not to do it again. The rioters would then be referred to “education and job opportunities” before conveniently having their records expunged so they can do it again.
It was ultimately up to the feds to provide some accountability, indicting rioters like Derrick Weatherbe who filled shopping carts with looted goods before streaming himself trying to set the store on fire with a stolen lighter, doing the job that Krasner and Philly Dems refused to do.
The head of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce had protested that minority businesses targeted by the racist mobs felt abandoned. “There is no assurance from the city of protecting them. They seem to be more concerned with protecting the offenders.”
Now Philly isn’t just protecting them, it’s paying them.
$9.2 million divided evenly among 300 plaintiffs would amount to $30,000 a head. Meanwhile, small businesses which suffered hundreds of thousands worth of damages, often got nothing.
Philly Democrats are paying their base to riot.
In the aftermath, one store owner described how, “the parts of the floor that weren’t covered in glass and tossed clothing were flooded. Demonstrators had tried to light three fires inside the store.”
“I cried on the way down and tried to get it out then. And I go in and out of wanting to cry again.”
The message to police and business owners is that Philly Democrats will stand with the rioters, not with them.
“The Philadelphia Police Department did not simply harm and terrorize individual people exercising their right to protest,” Rachel Kleinman of the Legal Defense Fund, claimed. “It inflicted wanton violence and devastated a predominately Black community.”
The violence was inflicted by protesters on police.
As Councilwoman Jamie Gauthier, who is black and and an opponent of the police, wrote during the riots, “At first things appeared calm, but it quickly turned into a standoff, with protesters throwing bricks and other objects in the direction of the police. As protesters became more aggressive, police ratcheted up their aggression and intimidation”.
The fact is that the violence did not begin with the police. And the police heroically tried to get it under control. Instead of paying the cops, police-defunding Democrats are paying the rioters.
The New York City and Philly payoffs are part of a larger pattern of state-sponsored BLM violence. Wounded police officers and civilians have tried to sue BLM organizations and chapters in vain, but it may be time for them to sue the governments that have promoted, enabled and funded the race riots that took lives, wrecked neighborhoods and killed hope.
BLM has functioned as the contemporary equivalent of the KKK. Both BLM and the KKK were covert arms of local Democrat governments which used the violence to intimidate political opponents. Municipal governments have promoted BLM, undermined law enforcement efforts to stop the racist violence and offer record payoffs knowing that this will inspire future riots. It’s time for the small businesses devastated by government-backed riots to sue cities like Philly.
The riots won’t end until BLM’s state sponsors are held accountable for their crimes.
Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine. Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation. Thank you for reading.