PHILADELPHIA – Mayor Kenney, Councilman Mark Squilla, and Rue Landau, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, issued the following statements in response to the racial incident at Weccacoe Playground:

Mayor Kenney:

“I am sickened by what took place today at Weccacoe Playground.  Although the investigation is still underway, I want to immediately condemn this despicable act. It demonstrates how far this country has fallen when people are inspired by the hateful rhetoric of our President. And it is particularly disgraceful to make a sacrilege out of a sacred burial ground, where thousands of African Americans are interred. The City will do everything in its power to bring the people responsible to justice for this disgusting act.”

Rue Landau, Executive Director for the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations:

“The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations expresses our strongest condemnation of  the heinous hate crime targeting the African American community discovered at South Philadelphia’s Weccacoe Playground. This is an important site of Philadelphia’s African American history.

“The depiction of a lynching — a powerful and painful symbol of violent racism — strikes fear in an entire community. This is a symbolic reminder of America’s painful past and will not be tolerated. The Commission will assist in investigating this case.

“We encourage anyone who has more information on this incident to contact the Philadelphia Police tip hotline at 215-686-TIPS, the PCHR at 215-686-4670, or the PCHR’s anonymous hotline at 215-686-2856.”

Councilman Mark Squilla (1st District):

“I am saddened and disgusted by the hateful incident that took place today at Weccacoe Playground.  The playground was built on top of an African American burial ground, which makes it all the more despicable.  I have zero tolerance for any insensitivity to any group of people.  We will be reviewing camera footage to determine the perpetrator who will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”