Consecutive Nights of Riots in Philadelphia Following Walter Wallace Death
Photo by Jorge Ventura
In the News: Another night of turmoil unfolded in Philadelphia, following the police shooting and death of a black 27-year-old, Walter Wallace Jr.
Police responded to a report of a man with a knife around 4 P.M Monday, in the 6100 block of Locust Street according to a Philadelphia Police Department spokesman (PPD) in dialogue with the Philadelphia Inquirer.
A social media video capturing the scene appeared to show Wallace unwaveringly advancing towards officers, while his mother tugged at his shirt urging him to stop. Police officers appeared to back away from Wallace with their guns drawn, in an attempt to draw distance away from him.
Officers yelled commands such as “back up” and “put the knife down” as well. Wallace, insubordinate to their orders, undeviatingly moved towards the officers, prompting them to open fire. Wallace was approximately 10 feet away from them when they shot.
According to PPD Chief, Danielle Outlaw, the two officers fired a total of 14 bullets at Wallace, seven bullets evenly shot between the two, with the number of bullets directly striking Wallace unclear.
Wallace was hurried to the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center where he died.
In a dialogue with ABC6’S Christie Ileto, Wallace’s mother, Catherine Wallace, said that she implored officers to stand down and not fire.
“I was telling the police to stop. ‘Don’t shoot my son, please don’t shoot my son,'” she said. “They paid me no mind, and shot my son.”
Wallace’s eldest son Zamir Wallace expressed deep anguish at the death of his father, recounting loving memories with his dad.
“We used to always hang out and we used to always go places and always play around. He used to always teach me how to be a man,” he said
Both officers were taken off street duty pending the investigation.
The aftermath of the death brought a night of tumultuous upheaval, according to CBSPhilly, when protests on the streets of West Philadelphia devolved into turmoil.
Throughout the night’s tumult, a total of 30 officers were injured, including a 56-year-old female police officer who was hit by a black pick-up truck, resulting in a broken leg and other minor injuries upon impact.
The following night, Tuesday, provided little respite from the discord with the PPD warning denizens that “A large crowd of appx 1000 is looting businesses in the area of Castor and Aramingo. Avoid the area.”
PPD officials had further stated that the situation had “rapidly gone downhill” along the affected area, with a “total loss,” from the looting, according to CBSPhilly Joe Holden. No injuries to officers were made that night however, officials added.
On Oct. 28, Mayor Jim Kenney of Philadelphia requested the Pennsylvania National Guard to be brought into the city in order to pacify the city’s bedlam, implementing a 9 p.m. curfew city-wide accordingly. However, reporters on the ground cited the National Guard did not show up.
Multiple stores were looted and a few reporters were threatened and attacked.
When Did it Happen?: Monday, Oct. 26 at around 4 p.m. with riots and protests potentially carrying through Oct. 28.
Where?: The incident occurred at Locust and South 61st streets in Cobbs Creek, West Philadelphia, according to PPD Chief Danielle Outlaw.
Who are the major players?: Walter Wallace Jr., two unidentified Philadelphia officers, along with rioters and protesters.
What the left is saying: Joe Biden in a statement addressing the matter said “Our hearts are broken for the family of Walter Wallace Jr., and for all those suffering the emotional weight of learning about another Black life in America lost,” the statement read.“Walter’s life mattered.”
Bernie Sanders, in parallel, expressed similar sentiments in a tweet stating:
“Walter Wallace should be alive today, and our thoughts are with his loved ones. The police responsible for murdering him in front of his mother instead of getting him the medical attention he needed should be arrested, investigated, and prosecuted by the Justice Department.”
What the right is saying: Trump when discussing the subject, according to NPR, spoke more on the aftermath of Walter’s death, above all being focused on the lawless upheaval taking over parts of the city, stating:
“It’s a terrible thing … allowing people to riot and loot and not stop them is … just a horrible thing,” he said. “I saw the event … it was a terrible event. I guess that’s being looked at very strongly, … We have … the federal government … looking [into it] also, but the rioting in Philadelphia, you have to stop it. They have to stop it.” he stated.
“You got to have law and order. You’ve got to have respect for our police,” he added.
Conservative pundit Ben Shapiro, editor emeritus of the Daily Wire, said in response to the video capturing the Wallace incident:
“ You can see the video, [Wallace] is holding a knife, he refuses to put it down, he approaches the police officers when he is about ten feet away refusing to put it down, [and] they shoot him,” he said. “Because you know you don’t have to do … [as an officer] …[you don’t have to] wait for the person to come six inches from you and stab you in the frickin’ face,” he added. “That’s a thing you don’t have to do as a police officer.”