Clashes and looting in Philadelphia after police killed Walter Wallace Jr.
Looting and demonstrations continued for a second consecutive night in Philadelphia Tuesday following the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr. on Monday. At about the same time the unrest was breaking out, the Wallace family was calling for calm.
In a news conference on the steps in front of their home, Walter Wallace Sr. pleaded for people to “have respect for my family and my son and stop this violence and chaos that’s going on in the city,” CBS Philly reports.
The family said they’d called for an ambulance to get him help with a mental health crisis, not for police intervention, according to The Associated Press. Wallace Jr.’s parents said officers knew their son was having mental health issues because police had been to the house three times Monday. His mother, Cathy Wallace, said “they stood there and laughed at us” during one of the visits.
The was also trouble in New York City on Tuesday night stemming from the Wallace shooting, CBS New York reported.
Philadelphia police said looting along Aramingo Avenue in the city’s Port Richmond neighborhood had “rapidly gone downhill” and the area was a “total loss,” CBS Philly said.
Police warned on Twitter that “a large crowd” of around 1,000 people was looting businesses in the area of Castor and Aramingo and advised people to “avoid the area.”
A Foot Locker and a Walmart store were among many looted. There was a large police presence at a Target store, CBS Philly said.
An Agence France-Presse reporter at a different location, in West Philadelphia, where another crowd of an estimated 1,000 people had gathered, saw police armed with batons clashing violently with several dozen protesters.
There were reports of several arrests.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s office announced the deployment of several hundred National Guard troops to the city “to protect the right to peacefully assemble and protest while keeping people safe.”
The White House said early Wednesday it “stands ready, upon request, to deploy any and all Federal resources to end these riots.” The statement claimed the unrest was another consequence of “Liberal Democrats’ war against the police.”
On Monday night, hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets, with riot police pushing them back with shields and batons.
More than 90 arrests were made and 30 officers were injured, including one whose leg was broken when she was hit by a pickup truck. Authorities said several police vehicles and dumpsters were set on fire.
Wallace Jr., 27, was shot to death Monday afternoon by two officers after he walked toward them and, police say, refused to drop a knife he was waving. It was caught on video. CBS Philly cites officials as saying he was shot 14 times and neither officer was carrying a Taser.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw launched an investigation, saying video of the shooting “raises many questions.”
The Wallace shooting came a week after an officer in Waukegan, north of Chicago, fatally shot 19-year-old Black man Marcellis Stinnette. His 20-year-old partner, Tafara Williams, was also wounded.
“When does it end America?” asked civil rights lawyer Ben Crump at a press conference Tuesday. “How many more Black people have to be killed because of police brutality, excessive force, bias, systematic racism, deliberate indifference?”
The U.S. has seen a wave of protests and rioting since the police killing of George Floyd in May in Minnesota, when an officer was caught on video pressing his knee to Floyd’s neck until he went limp.