It may have been once in a half-century occasion, but the Eagles parade appeared to be a largely routine exercise for city cops.
The celebration that snaked five miles up Broad Street and the Ben Franklin Parkway was essentially a super-sized version of the massive public events Philadelphia police have become accustomed to securing. And while it’s virtually impossible to host hundreds of thousands of people — at least? — without any problems, there were no immediate reports of the kind of property destruction and vandalism that erupted after the team’s win Sunday night.
The glaring exception was a stabbing on the Parkway at 10:30 a.m. that left a 25-year-old man in critical condition. Police did not identify the victim, or the details of the altercation, but said he had been stabbed once in the chest. As of late Thursday afternoon, no one had been arrested.
Information about other potential parade-related arrests — including if there were any — was not released by the Police Department or Mayor’s Office.
During the day, crowds lining the streets during the procession appeared to honor the miles of metal barricades as team buses passed. People seemed to celebrate joyously from South Philadelphia to the Art Museum. Officers communicating by police radio discussed issues such as clearing rooftops, helping people who had passed out, and looking for children who had been separated in the crowd from their parents.
Bike patrol and motorcycle officers surrounded the team buses as they traversed the city, and a half-dozen police cars with sirens flashing led the charge up Broad Street.
The challenge of hosting perhaps the biggest street festival in city history was certain to bleed into the night, as thousands of people took to the streets — either to keep the celebration going or find a way home.
At least one Eagle on Thursday afternoon voiced support for the Police Department’s efforts.
“It was amazing chaos out there and they were fantastic keeping the buses rolling down broad street and keeping everyone safe!!!” Chris Long tweeted.
I wanna take a minute to thank all the men and women of the Philly Police force that made today possible. It was amazing chaos out there and they were fantastic keeping the buses rolling down broad street and keeping everyone safe!!!
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) February 8, 2018