Tensions flared in a Philadelphia neighborhood on Monday between George Floyd protesters and bat-wielding vigilantes, according to a report.
Dozens of white men carrying bats, hammers and shovels got into an hours-long stand-off with a crowd of mostly younger Fishtown residents protesting police brutality, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
“Leave us alone!” one of the protesters yelled. “We live here and they’re making us feel unsafe!”
The men claimed they were out to protect their neighborhood in the event of riots or looting, and traded gibes with the protesters.
WHYY radio producer Jon Ehrens wrote on Twitter that he was attacked by the men while filming them to cover the encounter. He posted a photo of his bloodied face, later writing in an update that he was “fine” but on his way to a hospital.
At about 8 p.m. police lined up in the street to keep the two group separated and asked them to disperse.
“Why were others teargassed for peacefully protesting but they could walk around with bats and be protected?” one woman asked the police, according to the newspaper.
After SWAT arrived and cops told the protesters they were getting their third and last warning to leave, the crowd dissipated shortly after 9 p.m.
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