Police commissioner talks about anti-Trump protests, traffic tie-ups

- Philadelphia police commissioner Richard Ross answered questions about daily protests against the election of Republican Donald Trump as president on Monday morning's Good Day Philadelphia.

Those demonstrations continued through the weekend for thousands of people in Philadelphia and cities across the country.

Several hundred protesters marched around Philadelphia's City Hall and then down Market Street to Independence Mall, carrying signs and chanting "Donald Trump has got to go!" and "This is what democracy looks like."

As for a police response, including to protesters blocking evening rush hour traffic, causing traffic headaches, Ross told FOX 29’s Steve Keeley “We have to play it by ear” as to how many more nights the protests will continue.

Many of the demonstrations have simply popped up, rather than been announced. They've interrupted the evening rush hour since last Wednesday.

Organizers said in a statement the protest was intended to represent "all those that feel marginalized or threatened by a Trump presidency."

Ross did not say the protests were causing a "strain" on his department, but "There are other things we could be doing with our manpower.”

As for whether police could've avoided Saturday night's flash mob on 16th and Walnut streets that injured six people if they didn't have to watch the protests,the commissioner admitted it was hard to say, calling the behavior ridiculous and despicable.

Will he keep protesters on sidewalks, rather than streets? Ross said every situation and protest is different. Therefore, “We don’t make Cookie-cutter decisions about how we’re going to handle them”

He said he's proud there have been no local arrests but does realize other people have been feeling "taxed" by all the protesting and would prefer to coax people onto sidewalks.

As Keeley put it earlier, police are allowing free speech but no free flow of traffic.

He reported police in Los Angeles arrested 195 people in a similar situation on Friday.

Philadelphia’s NAACP president Rodney Muhammad urged people to accept the democratic process. He said they have the right to protest, but hopes they don’t escalate. Also, he said many protesters didn’t vote, since Philadelphia had 40,000 fewer Democratic votes this year compared to 2012.

Demonstrations have occurred daily in Pennsylvania and around the nation following Tuesday's election in which Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton. The GOP nominee's narrow victory in Pennsylvania was the first by a Republican presidential candidate since 1988.

Rudy Giuliani, one of Donald Trump's most reliable surrogates, said protesters around the nation are exaggerating the fear of a Trump presidency.

The former New York City mayor said he wished Hillary Clinton, the former Democratic presidential nominee, and President Barack Obama would say something the protesters.

"I just hope it calms down," Giuliani says on ABC's "This Week."

Giuliani said the protesters should respect the democratic process, be on sidewalks rather than streets, and he called them "kind of like professional protesters."

Up Next:


Thank you for visiting FOX29.com! Please click the survey link below to tell us about your experience.

FOX 29 Website Survey

  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In – includes Advertiser Stories