Culture

Protests Arise After Philadelphia Police Fatally Shoot Walter Wallace Jr.

Lead Photo: Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla.
Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla.
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There’s been yet another police killing of a Black man. Philadelphia Police shot and killed 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr on Monday (Oct. 26) afternoon. Horrifically, his mother witnessed his killing. As news of Wallace’s death began to circulate, protestors took to the streets in West Philadelphia to demand answers as to why yet another Black person was killed at the hand of police officers.

Wallace had been on the scene when officers were responding to a report via the police scanner that an officer was down after possibly being hit by an SUV during protests. The responding officers saw Wallace and shot him.

A video from the scene is circulating which shows that Wallace, who was allegedly “armed with a knife,” was further than an arm’s length away (he appears to be about 10 feet away) when the officers fired the deadly shots. Witnesses told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the officers fired their weapons towards Wallace at least a dozen times and there were at least 13 evidence markers at the scene.

Philadelphia Police Sgt. Eric Gripp says that Wallace was waving the knife erratically. Yet, this gives the police no right to take his life away. They should be properly trained to de-escalate the situation. There’s no reason why this altercation had to end in the unjust killing of a Black person.

Councilmember Jamie Gauthier posted a statement to her Twitter page: “This is a downright tragedy. Walter Wallace Jr., a resident of my district, was shot to death by police while his mother stood steps away. I extend my deepest condolences to her, and to all of this young man’s family and friends. Our whole community is mourning his loss tonight.” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw released statements after the incident promising a “full investigation.”