Philadelphia police will be doing many things to keep the peace at the Eagles NFL playoff game Saturday night. A few cops might even don Saints gold and black to make sure out-of-town fans don’t get abused by Iggles faithful.
Police Lt. John Stanford said the police presence will include officers in plain clothes as well as uniform: “You’ll see some officers in Eagles attire, Saints attire and plain clothes,” he said.
Philadelphia fans do have a lamentable history of harassing and even attacking those wearing opponents colors.
Just this season, a Michigan native who wore a Detroit Lions jersey said he was beaten even after the Eagles won the game on Dec. 8
Eagles fan Andrew Kasiewski says its not right to dress police up in New Orleans garb.
“I feel sorry for the cops. Don’t do it to yourself. You got the other team’s gear on you, guess what are fair game, that’s the way I look at it fair game. I know I’ve been away to Dallas and New Orleans, I was fair game with my Eagles gear on. Eye for an eye, jaw for a jaw.”
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey says fans have to use common sense whether in the stadium or in the parking lots.
“Celebrate but don’t drink too much, don’t get too carried away, after all it is a game it’s certainly not worth getting arrested or getting injured or whatever.”
Lt. Stanford says the police hope spreading the word that the Saints fan you see just might be an officer should help cut down on harassment.
“The message is: Hey, go out and root for your team, hopefully it’s the Eagles, have a safe time and don’t do anything stupid. Anything that doesn’t need to be done, anything that will cause a problem, we don’t want to see that type of activity.”
Police will have a zero tolerance policy for violence at the game.