Demonstrators rallying against police brutality protested for several hours and marched through downtown Philadelphia as the International Association of Chiefs of Police opened its annual convention on Saturday, reports Philly.com. They chanted and hurled insults and profanity at police, who followed behind the raucous procession by foot and car. Police say two officers and a protester suffered minor injuries after what was a peaceful protest took an aggressive turn. At least one protester was bloodied in a skirmish near the statue of the late Mayor Frank L. Rizzo, who also served as the city’s police commissioner.
As officers put several protesters in a police wagon, the crowd erupted and unloaded a string of profanity-laden chants at police. Four demonstrators were issued citations, and two were arrested and charged with assaulting officers. One officer was treated for an injury to his nose, the other for minor injuries to his leg. The protest by Philly for REAL Justice began around noon. As convention attendees milled in the street, about 40 protesters carrying signs, holding banners, and wearing shirts that read “Stop killing black people” raged against police, some making obscene gestures. They were surrounded by a sea of police officers on bikes and foot. “It is our duty to fight for our freedom,” activist Megan Malachi, one of the leaders, told the protesters. “We have nothing to lose but our chains.” Another demonstration Sunday stayed peaceful, resembling a lecture more than a protest, Philly.com reports. About 40 protesters gathered for nearly two hours, listening to speakers talk about police brutality and racial profiling. The speakers called for police departments to be abolished, saying that officers regularly violate people’s rights and that police in general are a waste of money.