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The Post  
 
National Guard Activated, Philly Protest Plans; All Eligible for Vaccines; Fmr Temple Dean Charged
 
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 04/17/21 6:48 pm | updated: 04/17/21 6:54 pm
 
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf activated more than 1,000 Pennsylvania National Guard members on Friday, 4/16, to assist Philadelphia officials. Closing arguments in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin begin on Monday, 4/19, and a verdict is possible sometime next week. Chauvin is accused of killing George Floyd last May during an arrest. The killing set off protests and violence across the country, including here in Philadelphia. "This declaration allows the commonwealth to take preemptive steps to ensure the safety of our fellow Pennsylvanians," Gov. Wolf said. "The activation of the National Guard supports the current efforts in Philadelphia to protect our beloved neighbors and city."

Philadelphia officials held a press conference on Friday, 4/19, to announce their plans for the coming days. There will be an increased presence of law enforcement officers on the streets. Philadelphia's Emergency Response Center has been activated and will be fully staffed. Mental health workers will be at 911 call centers to help screen for behavioral health crises. There are several crisis intervention teams that are paired with behavior health professionals to respond to certain calls. The city will be hosting digital safe spaces called Community Healing Circles that people can attend virtually. The first is Monday from 5:30 p.m to 7:30 p.m. See Mayor Jim Kenney's letter below.

"Let me be very clear, unlawful behavior will not be tolerated," Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said Friday. "The safety of all demonstrators along with the safety of our residents, business owners, and visitors is a top priority for the PPD. It's important to say that at this time, there are no known specific threats to our city. Over the next few days, there are several demonstrations that are scheduled to take place, but we do not have any reason to believe that these will be anything other than peaceful demonstrations. However, regardless of what may develop, I am confident that our department is prepared for whatever may come our way."

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley announced on Friday, 4/16, that the city will immediate opening up vaccine eligibility to all Philadelphians 16 and over. They had originally planned to make the change in eligibility on Monday, April 19, but made the decision to expand early due to the availability of vaccine doses. "This week we heard from an increasing number of hospitals and pharmacies and our mass vaccination sites that they're having difficulty filling the vaccination spots," Farley said. "We don't want those vaccination slots to go unused." The two FEMA run vaccine clinics will be accepting walk-up vaccinations this weekends. That includes the Center City location at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and the North Philadelphia location at Esperanza. Center City is open 8:00 am - 4:00 pm Saturday and Sunday. Esperanza is open Saturday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm Sunday: 7:00 am - 2:00 pm

SEE ALSO: COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Form Philadelphia Resident

The former dean of Temple University's Fox School of Business has been federally charged with falsifying data to boost the school's rankings. The school's online MBA program reached the #1 spot in U.S. News and World Report rankings based on the manipulated information. 74-year-old Moshe Porat is charged with on one count each of conspiracy and wire fraud, according the indictment released on Friday, 4/16. "The indictment alleges that Moshe Porat conspired with other Fox employees to provide false and other misleading information to U.S. News & World Report about Fox’s business degree programs in order to fraudulently inflate the business school's rankings for its online MBA and part-time MBA programs," Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer Williams said. The fraud was discovered in 2018.

SEE ALSO: Temple U. Settles US News Rankings Case

 
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(1) response

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 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 04/17 6:54 pm
 
Letter from Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney

Fellow Philadelphians,

In the coming days, a verdict will be rendered in the criminal case against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with the murder of George Floyd. The decision will be reached almost one year after Mr. Floyd was killed on the ground under the knee of an officer sworn to protect and serve.

This is one of far too many cases of fatal police violence still happening across our country. Daunte Wright was shot and killed in Brooklyn Center last Sunday, and yesterday video was released in the police shooting death of 13-year-old Adam Toledo while his empty hands were raised.

Mr. Floyd's killing was a tipping point for Black and Brown people and entire communities who have felt a life sentence of pain, fear, anger, and distrust for generations. It caused outrage, and in some instances, violence, by people desperate to be heard and understood.

Looking back to last spring and the demonstrations in our city, we know the police and my administration made mistakes in how we handled the protests. Tear gas should not have been used and we over-policed in some communities while others felt abandoned. As your Mayor, I vow to do better.

I'm committed to ensuring that we learn from our mistakes, demonstrate our accountability, and hold ourselves to a higher standard. Changing how we protect all of our residents is a priority of our administration. We are listening to members of the community–and in partnership with our Pathways to Reform, Transformation, and Reconciliation Steering Committee, we are reimagining our approach and efforts to keep ALL Philadelphians safe, while working to build a more equitable city for everyone. We’ve also made critical changes and clarifications to our policies, procedures, and training, with more to come.

- We added mental health professionals to help screen 911 calls and identify signs of behavioral health crises.
- We expanded Crisis Intervention Training for 911 dispatchers and officers.
- We are piloting four co-responder teams that pair Crisis Intervention trained officers with behavioral health professionals, with plans for additional teams.
- We made it explicitly clear that sitting or kneeling on someone’s neck, face or head is absolutely prohibited.
- We implemented internal policies and procedures and consistent accountability measures to identify and remove dishonorable personnel more easily.

Waiting for the verdict is not the hardest part. It's knowing that a life has been taken too soon and how unjustly Black and Brown people in this country are treated by law enforcement. It's knowing that regardless of what the jury decides, the judgment rendered will retraumatize the victimized and remind us of the compounding effects of centuries of inequities and systemic racism that have brought us to this moment. It's knowing that outrage may be felt once again.

In the meantime, we need to remember that we must still stand together as Philadelphians. We need to remember our neighbors who own small businesses and stores along our commercial corridors. We need to look out for each other.

All of us have the right to express our beliefs. We have the right to gather, march and protest peacefully and safely. Great progress has been made when we unite in a common cause for the greatest good, and peaceful protest is the American way. A "Know Your Rights" guide is available on the ACLU's website.

If you need help, please know that mental and behavioral health supports are available. You can find them at healthymindsphilly.org or by calling 888-545-2600. We will also be hosting six virtual community healing circles over the next three weeks to provide safe spaces for neighbors to come together in solidarity, the first of which you can register for online.

And on the day of the verdict–whenever it may be–we will be calling for citywide prayer, so we can honor the memory of George Floyd and other Black Americans whose lives were tragically cut short because of brutality, racism, systemic failures, and deep societal inequities.

I have said many times: I cannot pretend to understand what it is like to be a Black person in this country. No white person can. But I do understand that the long history of Black people facing inequality and injustice, of being denied opportunities, and of being harassed, thrown in jail, and murdered because of a broken taillight or mistaken glance–all of that must end swiftly.

This is a call for active peace. So when the verdict comes, no matter the outcome, let us resolve to demonstrate peacefully, to voice the pain and anguish loud and clear but without destruction, and let us stay united working to ensure that Black lives matter today–and every day.

In service,
James F. Kenney
Mayor
 

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