By Dustin Slaughter
Photos by Joshua Albert
Tuesday marked a second day of peaceful demonstrations on the streets of Center City and North Philadelphia, sparked by the Ferguson grand jury’s decision Monday not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the murder of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. Philadelphia was one of many cities that participated in protests nationwide.
After marching from City Hall to join another protest at Broad and Cecil B. Moore Streets, hundreds of demonstrators wound their way through North Philadelphia to the 9th District police station to vent frustrations at a very large police presence lined along the sidewalk.
They also issued a list of specific demands, airing several grievances, including a federal investigation into the Ferguson murder; that the Philadelphia Police Department use body-worn cameras while on patrol; the overturning of the highly controversial and seemingly unconstitutional Revictimization Relief Act; revitalization of the Citizen Review Board (or Police Advisory Board), dissolved in 1969, reportedly as “a Christmas present” to the police department, according to then-Commissioner Frank Rizzo; and a Black Friday boycott (planned for the Gallery at Market East tomorrow).
While at the station, protesters also demanded that authorities release two people – 23 year old Felix Nnumulo and a former Daily News intern named Naveed Ahsan – who were arrested late Monday when demonstrators attempted to gain access to an I-676 on-ramp near Callowhill. In an effort to diffuse the peaceful, though at times tense scene in front of the station, officials apparently expedited the processing of the two defendants, who were already being arraigned when the protesters arrived that evening.
After the pair’s release, the march continued to Rittenhouse Square before dissipating around midnight.