Philadelphia/ Politics & Govt
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Published on May 13, 2024
Mayor Parker Announces Peaceful Resolution Following 33 Arrests at University of Pennsylvania EncampmentSource: Wikipedia/Jared Piper/PHLCouncil, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Mayor Cherelle L. Parker, flanked by top city officials, announced the resolution of a tense standoff at the University of Pennsylvania, where an encampment was dispersed by police, resulting in 33 arrests. According to a statement on the City of Philadelphia's official website, Penn Police sought assistance from the Philadelphia Police Department after failing to peacefully resolve the issue themselves.

In the early hours of clearing the encampment, the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office came to aid, providing buses for transport, in a carefully orchestrated operation that saw 33 individuals slapped with charges of defiant trespass. Chief Public Safety Director Adam Geer and City Solicitor Renee Garcia offered insights into the efforts to reach a peaceful conclusion, with them actively sending out feelers, but to no avail. Despite the ratcheting tensions, officials breathed a sigh of relief as the operation concluded with neither injuries nor violence.

Encampment tensions began to brew on May 1st when Penn first reached out for aid. A prolonged engagement ensued, with Mayor Parker and her administration negotiating tirelessly, alongside District Attorney Larry Krasner, in hopes of achieving a peaceful end. “To that end, Mayor Parker made available her Chief of Public Safety Adam Geer and City Solicitor Renee Garcia, and worked with District Attorney Larry Krasner to assist in this effort. These public officials made numerous outreach efforts to both the students and the administration, offering to join the negotiations, to speak to the students separately, and to make connections to neutral third parties who we believed could bring the parties together." said the joint statement.

The Parker administration took pre-emptive steps to secure public safety. According to the City's website, the Philadelphia Police offered and provided Civil Disorder Training to Penn Police – a move that was highlighted in the statement as part of ensured preparedness in anticipation of an agreement falling through.