October 28, 2020
Protesters called for justice Tuesday night in the wake of the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr., filling the streets of West Philly for a second straight night.
While some protests remained peaceful, others led to tense encounters between demonstrators and police officers, as well as more looting and vandalism across the city.
Wallace, a 27-year-old Black man, was shot by two police officers in West Philly on Monday afternoon. His family said he was experiencing a mental health crisis. An investigation into the shooting is ongoing.
Wallace was seen on video with a knife in his hand approaching the officers, who had their guns drawn.After Wallace defied orders to drop his weapon, the cops fired at least 14 rounds of gunshots, causing fatal injuries.
Protesters began marching Tuesday afternoon, according to the Inquirer. Hundreds of protesters later converged on Malcolm X Park for a demonstration. They marched through the streets of West Philly, including along the 52nd Street corridor, to the 18th District police precinct.
Here are some photos from the protests:
While the protest began peacefully and remained so for most of the night, some protesters reportedly threw objects at a small group of cops, leading to several arrests.
After requesting backup, police in riot gear used pepper spray and batons as they attempted to control a crowd at 52nd and Walnut streets.
The protests began to disperse early Wednesday morning. As the demonstrations were taking place, Mayor Jim Kenney, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, and District Attorney Larry Krasner held an emergency meeting with the local community.
Though much of the demonstrations took place in West Philly, there was some looting and vandalism in Port Richmond, along Castor and Aramingo avenues. About 1,000 people were reported looting businesses in the area, police said. Residents were warned to avoid the area.
Many businesses across the city boarded up their windows and closed early Tuesday, preparing for potential a second night of looting and vandalism.
Mass looting in Philly. This Dollar Tree has been completely destroyed. pic.twitter.com/vuctjXnspO— James Klüg (@realJamesKlug) October 28, 2020
Mass looting up and down Aramingo Ave in Philly pic.twitter.com/xC4Q6FvbTP— Shelby Talcott (@ShelbyTalcott) October 28, 2020
Philly Police attempting to gain control of the looting situation at the Port Richmond Walmart. People are dragging televisions out into the parking lot. pic.twitter.com/Y6RVTPzLa8— Drew Smith (@drewsmithtv) October 28, 2020
Around 9:30 p.m., city officials urged residents in various parts of West and North Philly to stay home due to looting and violent demonstrations.
The Philadelphia Police Department is requesting that all residents in the 12, 16, 18, 19, 24, 25, and 26th Districts remain indoors except when necessary. These areas are experiencing widespread demonstrations that have turned violent with looting.— Philadelphia OEM (@PhilaOEM) October 28, 2020
“They’re not helping my family, they’re showing disrespect,” Walter Wallace Sr says of those looting in the city.— Kristen Graham (@newskag) October 28, 2020
"We cannot accept that in this country a mental health crisis ends in death," their statement said. "It makes the shock and grief and violence of yesterday's shooting that much more painful, especially for a community that has already endured so much trauma. Walter Wallace's life, like too many others', was a Black life that mattered — to his mother, to his family, to his community, to all of us."
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany referred to the protests as "riots" that are "the most recent consequence of the Liberal Democrats' war against the police."
"Law enforcement is an incredibly dangerous occupation, and thousands of officers have given their lives in the line of duty," McEnany said. "All lethal force incidents must be fully investigated. The facts must be followed wherever they lead to ensure fair and just results.
In preparation for more civil unrest, Gov. Tom Wolf is sending several hundred members of the Pennsylvania National Guard to support the city in its efforts to maintain peaceful demonstrations.