Vigilante group turns on reporter in Philadelphia

An all-white group of men have been filmed carrying baseball bats, golf clubs and vowing to protect a Philadelphia neighbourhood by a reporter who claimed they then turned on him.

Footage out of the neighbourhood of Fishtown, in the city’s north, showed dozens of men marching together. Some carried golf clubs while one was filmed carrying an axe.

Radio producer Jon Ehrens documented the scenes and shared footage on Twitter.

“Huge congregation of agitated white people with bats, golf clubs and billy clubs,” he wrote.

“N-words flying. Overheard: ‘I’m ready to f*** shit up. You know I’ve been looking for a fight for the past six months.”

WARNING: Graphic language

Several hours after Ehrens started filming, he claims members of the group confronted him. On Twitter, he shared an image of his face with a swollen eye and blood pouring from his nose and mouth.

He said he was on his way to hospital but “I’m OK”.

In other neighbourhoods, tense scenes continued a week after black man George Floyd was killed. Floyd, 46, died in Minneapolis after police officer Derek Chauvin put his knee into his neck for almost nine minutes.

Chauvin has been fired and charged with murder and manslaughter and protests against deaths of black men and women in custody have broken out all over America.

Police fired nonlethal bullets and tear gas at hundreds of protesters who spilt onto an interstate highway in the heart of Philadelphia on Monday just before a 6pm curfew took effect.

The crowds on Interstate 676 also led to the closure of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, the main link from downtown Philadelphia to New Jersey suburbs across the Delaware River.

Some climbed a steep embankment and scaled a fence as police acted.

More than two dozen were arrested as a few hundred other protesters moved to block the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, a grand thoroughfare leading from downtown the city’s imposing art museum.

Floyd’s brother visited the intersection where he died Monday, calling for calm.

rohan.smith1@news.com.au | @ro_smith





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