PHILADELPHIA, PA – Police in Philadelphia shot and killed Walter Wallace, Jr. 27, on Monday in Western Philadelphia. Wallace, armed with a knife aggressively approached police officers before he was shot multiple times. The incident happened at 4 p.m. Officers pleaded with Wallace to drop his knife, but he aggressively charged the officers before being shot. Violence and protesting erupted in the hours after the shooting leading to 30 police officers being injured. One female officer was hospitalized after being run over by a truck driven by rioters. That truck intentionally sped through a line of police officers.
Philadelphia Mayor Kenney said he watched the video and sent his condolences to the family. He added, an investigation will be conducted in to the shooting death of Wallace.
“My prayers are with the family and friends of Walter Wallace. I have watched the video of this tragic incident and it presents difficult questions that must be answered. I spoke tonight with Mr. Wallace’s family, and will continue to reach out to hear their concerns first-hand, and to answer their questions to the extent that I am able. The Officer Involved Shooting Investigation Unit of PPD will conduct a full investigation. I look forward to a speedy and transparent resolution for the sake of Mr. Wallace, his family, the officers, and for Philadelphia,” he said.
“While at the scene this evening, I heard and felt the anger of the community,” said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw. “Everyone involved will forever be impacted. I will be leaning on what the investigation gleans to answer the many unanswered questions that exist. I also plan to join the mayor in meeting with members of the community and members of Mr. Wallace’s family to hear their concerns as soon as it can be scheduled.”
The statements of Keeney were much different than his statements made during the city’s first round of riots back in May.
During the first round of riots in May after the George Floyd protests, the city’s mayor blamed police and Donald Trump. Philadelphia Mayor Keeney blamed the police department for prolonged systemic violence against the black community in his city. The riots in western Philadelphia eventually led to riots and destruction in Philadelphia’s famed Center City district where stores were looted and the property was damaged earlier this year.
“They came out earlier in the day yesterday to peacefully and forcefully protest. They made a tremendous statement over the decades of anger over a system that degrades people over the color of their skin. That statement was important to hear and should in no way be diminished by anarchists and others who tried to cause chaos in our city last night,” Keeney said. “Those vandals in Center City did a great disservice to those who chose to speak out forcefully against institutional racism and violence at the hands of police. In looting downtown, these people not only desacrated private businesses, they also desecrated the important message that was heard in the earlier peaceful protests.”
Keeney also blamed President Donald J. Trump and COVID-19 for his city’s past civil disturbances, blamingTrump’s “systemic racism” and “sick hatred”.
“Because the people throughout this country want to see a continuation of systemic racism including in the White House will use the damage, violence and looting to perpetuate their sick hatred,” Keeney said. “None of this has been helped by more than two months of battling a pandemic. We’ve been quite vocal about the mental health effects of staying home of social distancing and of the devastating economic impact of jobs lost and future uncertain.”
Keeney has yet to address the looting and rioting after the Wallace shooting.