PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Fraternal Order of Police confirms a Philadelphia Police Captain has been removed following this weekend’s events at the Christopher Columbus statue in South Philadelphia. The FOP said in a release Tuesday morning Cpt. Lou Campione was removed from his post in South Philly.
They say the mayor and police leadership are more concerned with “appeasing the anarchist mobs.”
“The police department has removed Captain Lou Campione from his command in the 1st District following his diffusion of a volatile and chaotic situation. A 43-year veteran of the department, Captain Campione is well respected by his officers, fellow commanders and, most importantly the community he has served tirelessly,” FOP Lodge 5 said. “The mayor and police leadership are more concerned with appeasing the anarchist mobs descending upon our city and are less concerned about our citizens, our neighbors and the overall public safety of our great city.”
— FOPLodge5 (@FOPLodge5) June 16, 2020
Neighbors tell Eyewitness News Campione was transferred to the Northeast.
This comes after a weekend clash between activists who want it gone and a group of people who have been standing guard at the statue around the clock. Some of those trying to protect the statue on Saturday were seen holding bats and guns.
Cellphone video from Sunday night shows a large group of people who were guarding the statue at Marconi Plaza walking forward, essentially to push out a small group of activists who want the statue removed.
One woman holding her phone shouts “don’t touch me” and tries remaining in place. But she and a few other activists eventually ended up in the street at Broad Street and Oregon Avenue.
“While we were getting pushed into traffic, there was a line of 40 cops that did nothing. They did nothing,” West Philadelphia resident Deborah Rose said.
Mayor Jim Kenney says the statue will be boarded up Tuesday and he has asked the Philadelphia Art Commission to initiate a public process to consider the statue’s future.
CBS3’s Matt Petrillo contributed to this report.