Skateboarders in Center City say members of the Philadelphia Police Department are using excessive force, bordering on brutality, against them.
Captain Wilson disagrees. It’s the law, he says, and it’s clearly posted. “These aren’t just 12-year-olds. The majority are adults—adult vandals. It’s a minor crime, but it’s fair to call them criminals.”
Wilson says his officers are ready for the onslaught of skaters scheduled to take to Philly streets and parks on Sunday, but won’t go into detail because he doesn’t want skaters to know what precautions the city has planned. “We have to tackle them—they think it’s a game. I wish we had more officers to put out there and put an end to this. They’re in the wrong.”
Chattin will also be ready. She’s already told her son, “The next time you have an altercation with a cop, you let them call me and tell me where you’re at because I’ll be arrested with you.”
On Sunday, she’ll be right next to him if anything goes down.
Sunday was supposed to be Go Skateboarding Day 2009, which offered the possibility that the skaters and the cops at Love Park would have the angry, pointless run-in to end angry pointless run-ins. Instead, the whole thing kind of fizzled out. Larry West reports on the lameness.