Protesters speak out after police used tear gas, pepper spray during I-676 protest

Several protesters are speaking out following the use of tear gas and pepper spray during a protest that spilled onto I-676 on June 1.

Katharine Miller, 30, a UPenn employee earning a degree in social work, says she sat down directly in front of protester Diamonick Hough in the demonstration on I-676 to protect him.

"To think anything other than this man’s life was in danger if he was left alone with police officers, in my opinion, is that you’re not paying attention," Miller said.

Her actions got Miller a face full of spray from a SWAT officer who the police commissioner says she plans to fire and may be charged.

Miller spoke Friday with her attorney by her side, whose firm also represents Diamonick Hough, who tossed a canister away from protesters and was also sprayed.

Hough spoke Friday morning on Good Day Philadelphia. "It’s not one bad apple, not just one cop did that it was multiple cops, multiple people, multiple layers to this situation and more needs to be done," he said.

Hough and Miller’s reactions come one day after Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw put a hold on the use of tear gas and apologized for officers’ actions on I-676.

"I have viewed the video posted by The New York Times, by which I am extremely disturbed and quite frankly sickened beyond description," Outlaw said Thursday.

Mayor Jim Kenney added, "I have never believed tear gas was an effective tool when I’ve seen it used in other cities in protests it always seemed to me to make situations worse and it has.”

On a day when Outlaw unveiled changes to her top commanders, lawyers are planning legal action against the city and liked the sound of the apology.

"It’s an admission of failed responsibility and liability to the folks on 676, we appreciate that," attorney Kevin Mincey said.

The protesters believe the apology is fine, but not close to good enough.

"Not just one cop getting fired it’s that the city and the mayor’s office reprioritize communities over police," Miller said.



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