Philadelphia neighborhoods faced a second night of unrest in response to a fatal police shooting. An investigation is pending while the National Guard was called in to assist police.
- In the first night of unrest, 30 police officers were injured as businesses were ransacked and a police station was vandalized. The first night of violence led Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf to authorize the mobilization of the PA National Guard to assist Philadelphia police.
- Residents were asked by local officials to stay indoors for their safety during the “widespread looting.” Violent protests over the shooting spread to New York City where dozens were arrested.
- Walter Wallace, Jr was shot and killed by Philadelphia police after they responded to a 911 call about “a man with a knife.” Upon arriving at the scene, police were confronted by Wallace, who was brandishing a knife. After failing to comply with police directions and moving towards police, Wallace was fatally shot.
- Wallace had a history of mental health crises and run-ins with law enforcement. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, he was repeatedly ordered mental health treatment by the courts and was prescribed lithium at the time of this death.
- In an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Wallace’s father asked the Philadelphia community to end the violence and looting, saying “I don’t want to leave a bad scar on my son and my family.”
- Philadelphia’s District Attorney is conducting an investigation into the incident, while the involved officers’ union representatives defended their actions.
- The Biden campaign released a statement offering condolences to the Wallace family while condemning the violence and looting of the last two nights.
- The White House also released a statement, saying it “stands proudly with law enforcement” and that the violence is a result of “Liberal Democrats’ war on police.”
- Left-leaning Philadelphia Inquirer ran an editorial calling for the body camera footage of the officers involved to be released, arguing they did not use non-lethal methods of de-escalation first.
- Vice similarly focused its reporting on the details of the incident on questions surrounding the police’s use of force, noting Wallace’s mother “begged” police to “de-escalate”.
- In a detailed rundown of the incident and protests-turned-looting, Vox connected the events to next weeks’ election, which not only has national implications but also a local referendum on the reinstatement of a police oversight commission.
- In an editorial on the shooting, the Wall Street Journal lays blame for the incident on Philadelphia’s political leadership, saying the City Council cut police funding earlier this year and are expected to ban the use of less-than-lethal tools shortly.
- Reporting for the National Review and Daily Caller focus on the looting and violence towards Philadelphia police.
- Conservative outlet The Blaze concentrated its report on the chants and actions of Black Lives Matter protestors. The Blaze’s reporter was allegedly confronted and assaulted by looters.
- Local opinion columnist Chris Freind wrote the chaotic protests and violent looting resulting from the incident may end up helping President Donald Trump win the state of Pennsylvania, and criticized the situation from nearly every angle.
© Dallas Gerber, 2020