Philly prepares for Chauvin verdict with troops, mental health resources

While Minneapolis is more than 1,100 miles away, the City of Philadelphia is preparing for what will happen in the trial of Derek Chauvin.

Video Transcript

- Here in Philadelphia, many are keeping a close eye on the developments in Minneapolis. Businesses and police in our region have been preparing potential responses to whatever the verdict turns out to be in the Chauvin case. And Action News reporter Maggie Kent is along the Ben Franklin Parkway tonight with a closer look at the preparations underway all across the city. Maggie.

MAGGIE KENT: Rick, while Minneapolis is more than 1,000 miles away from Philadelphia, we are preparing here. Local leadership declaring an emergency disaster here. That's Governor Wolf who did so at the direction, or request, of Mayor Jim Kenney.

Now 1,000 National Guard troops members are here on standby for whatever may come.

ROBERT COLLIER: And we want them to know that we're not sitting in some high, lofty area dictating to them. But we want to be boots on the ground beside them.

- No justice!

- No peace!

MAGGIE KENT: Now while Philadelphia police and emergency services and National Guard members are bracing for potential looting and rioting, members of the Philadelphia black clergy also on standby to march alongside and aid in keeping any future protests peaceful. Governor Wolf, again, declaring a disaster emergency, deploying 1,000 Pa. National Guard members this weekend at the request of Mayor Jim Kenney.

But the mobilization of troops on standby is drawing mixed reaction. State Rep. Chris Rabb of northwest Philadelphia said an organized plan for a communal, peaceful protest would have been better suited in this case.

CHRIS RABB: That's why people will be coming out in the streets, is if we feel that there was a miscarriage of justice. And the response to that is not militarization. The response to that is not more law enforcement, because that's part of the problem.

MAGGIE KENT: Now in just about a half hour, the first of six community healing sessions will take place on Zoom. They're hosted by the city of Philadelphia in an effort to allow people to air their concerns, grievances, traumas, or feelings surrounding this Derek Chauvin trial. The mayor, again, encouraging people to protest peacefully. But again, police and troops are on standby in case there is looting and rioting to come.

We're live along the parkway. Maggie Kent, Channel 6 Action News. Rick.

- All right, Maggie. Thank you.

And of course, head over to 6abc.com to follow the latest developments in the Derek Chauvin trial. There you'll find the updates on the case. And of course, find the latest on how cities across the country are preparing for reaction to that verdict.