Philadelphia Removed A Statue Of The Former Mayor Frank Rizzo, Who Aggressively Policed Black And Gay People In The '60s And ’70s

New York City (The New York Times) — Philadelphia removed a statue of the former mayor Frank Rizzo, who aggressively policed black and gay people in the '60s and ’70s, after protesters tried to take it down. Mayor Jim Kenney said it was “the beginning of the healing process of our city.”

Three officers were charged with aiding and abetting murder in the death of George Floyd. And the officer who pressed his knee into Mr. Floyd’s neck was charged with second-degree murder.

The City of Philadelphia on Wednesday morning took down a statue of the former mayor Frank Rizzo, a champion of conservatives who aggressively policed black people and gay people in the 1960s and ’70s and whose likeness has long been criticized as a symbol of racism and oppression.

The statue, which sat on the steps of a municipal services building, had remained for more than two decades since its unveiling in 1999. It was often vandalized, and protesters in recent days have tried to take it down and light it on fire.

Mr. Rizzo became police commissioner in 1967, before serving two terms as mayor, from 1972 to 1980. As police commissioner, he rounded up gay people late at night and forced members of the Black Panthers to strip down in the streets.

Mr. Kenney said the city did not yet know what would happen to the statue, and had no immediate timetable.

“We just needed to get it out of the way so we can move forward,” he said. “If there’s someone who wants it, wants to take it somewhere else, we’ll talk. We needed to get it to a place where it was out of people’s sight.”

Source: nytimes, full story


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