New Video Shows Chaos On Vine Street Expressway During Last Summer's Protests

Joe Holden reports.

Video Transcript

UKEE WASHINGTON: One year ago, demonstrations descended into chaos. Police tear gassed protesters. One year later, newly released video is helping us to understand the unprecedented unrest in Philadelphia. Joe Holden joins us now from Logan Square with the new developments, Joe.

JOE HOLDEN: Ukee, good evening. Things were tense exactly one year ago right now. It was rush hour on the Vine Street Expressway behind me when things ground to a halt with protesters and police clashing in scenes not to be believed. Screams of panic and fear.

- They're shooting [INAUDIBLE]!

JOE HOLDEN: A demonstration one year ago right now went from calm to chaos. New video released Tuesday by attorneys representing more than 200 people reveals fresh angles of how Philadelphia and Pennsylvania State Police drove protesters off a city highway. It was late in the afternoon June 1, 2020. The crowd managed to get onto the Vine Street Expressway following three days of demonstrations and violent civil unrest in the wake of George Floyd's murder.

Philadelphia police had come under heavy criticism for standing down while looting and vandalism flared up across the city. The department swung back hard on the Expressway demonstrators, deploying tear gas and rubber bullets. Michael Coard is an attorney on the case.

MICHAEL COARD: We want substance. And if the police department, if the city of Philadelphia, if they're not talking about substantive change, real change, then we got to force them to do it. And how do you force them to do it? By getting a federal judge or federal jury to make it happen.

JOE HOLDEN: In a news conference Tuesday, attorneys detailed continued litigation efforts to hold the city accountable calling for reform of decades of continued systematic brutality. In the aftermath of the 676 incident, as well as the gassing for hours in West Philadelphia.

- What we saw was the brutal effort on the part of the police department in Philadelphia to utilize military munitions and these tactics against peaceful protesters and residents.

JOE HOLDEN: One Philadelphia police officer who is now off the jobs was eventually charged in connection to pulling down a female protesters facemask and spraying her with pepper spray. Late last month, those charges were dropped by a Philadelphia municipal judge. We did reach out to the mayor's office for comment regarding this afternoon's news conference. We are waiting to hear back. We're live above the Vine Street Expressway in Center City, Joe Holden, CBS3 Eyewitness News.