Alicia Nieves and Henry Rosoff, CBS3, July 17, 2017
What started as a weekend barbecue at a recreation center led to an aggressive encounter with Philadelphia police officers.
Around 400 teens in an unauthorized gathering confronted police outside the Lonnie Young Recreation Center in Germantown Sunday night.
Police say it all began after 6 p.m. When officers arrived, they found the large crowd on the sidewalk and in the street, as most were estimated to be between 12 and 17 years old.
Councilwoman Cindy Bass said the following about the incident Monday: “It is clear that this situation highlights a serious need in the City of Philadelphia. One of the things I hear time and time again from our youth is that they do not have anything to do, especially in the summer. While the City has done a commendable job in providing a wide range of activities and programming, we need to do more. Much more. Could this have been prevented if we had extended recreation center programs into Sunday afternoon/evening? What are we doing to connect our young people to available job opportunities?
Officers said glass bottles were thrown at them. Publicly available videos on social media show the teens surrounding officers in their vehicles, hopping on top of cars and generally taunting police.
Police commanders made the decision not to make any arrests, as to not escalate the situation, and the crowd disbursed within in few hours.
“There’s no reported injuries to police, no reported arrests, and there’s no reported injuries to civilians at this time,” Capt. Drew Techner with Philadelphia Police said.