Philly Managing Director Brian Abernathy to Resign, Sources Say

Following criticism over his response to protests and civil unrest in Philadelphia, city Managing Director Brian Abernathy will resign on Tuesday, sources told KYW News Radio. 

Abernathy is expected to make the announcement during a briefing at 1 p.m., Pat Loeb reported. 

Abernathy, Mayor Jim Kenney and Commissioner Danielle Outlaw were criticized for their response to demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd. All three gave conflicting accounts of why officers chose to use tear gas on protesters who marched on I-676 back on June 1. 

Though they initially claimed the protesters were being violent as they blocked traffic, no such evidence emerged to back up the narrative. Instead, video of the incident showed officers violating the PPD’s own policy on the use of pepper spray.

Kenney and Outlaw later personally apologized for the incident and a deputy police commissioner in charge of the police response was demoted while a member of the city SWAT unit was fired. 

During a virtual budget hearing later in June, Abernathy admitted he underestimated the response from protesters, rioters and looters amid the civil unrest over Floyd’s death. 

“I trusted our police tactics, managed multiple large events and trusted how we prepared,” Abernathy said. “I never imagined, having witnessed our city coming apart at the seams. I was dumbfounded by how out of touch I really was and how I underestimated the anger and rage and frustration of folks I’m hired to serve.”

Abernathy was appointed as Managing Director by Mayor Kenney on Jan. 15, 2019. He had previously served as First Deputy Managing Director, overseeing the city’s major operating departments and their day-to-day functions. He also had direct oversight of the city’s public safety functions.

Published at Tue, 14 Jul 2020 02:33:20 +0000

Source: Philly Managing Director Brian Abernathy to Resign, Sources Say.

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