Philadelphia Police Shooting: Who Was Walter Wallace Jr., and What Happened?
A citywide curfew will take effect at 9 p.m. Wednesday in Philadelphia as officials try to restore order after two nights of protests and looting.
Protests and looting began Monday, after a video was distributed on social media showing police fatally shooting Walter Wallace Jr., a 27-year-old Black man who was holding a knife.
周一，在社交媒体上流传的一段视频显示，警察开枪打死了持刀的27岁黑人小沃尔特·华莱士(Walter Wallace Jr.)后，抗议和抢劫开始了。
On Wednesday, city officials said police have arrested more than 170 people on felony or misdemeanor charges since Monday. Most of the arrests were for commercial burglaries, officials said. More than 50 officers have been injured, and one remained hospitalized Wednesday afternoon, officials said. Also, 17 police or fire vehicles have been damaged.
On Tuesday night in New York City, protests over the shooting turned violent when demonstrators clashed with police in riot gear. Thirty-two people were arrested and five New York Police Department officers were injured, police officials said.
Bystander video showed Mr. Wallace, who was holding a knife, stood on a sidewalk while two police officers pointed their guns at him. At one point, a woman appeared to try to stop Mr. Wallace as he crossed the street. Officers fired several times when he re-emerged onto the street from between two parked cars and walked toward them.
A police spokesman said officers ordered Mr. Wallace to drop the knife before they fired their guns. The two officers each fired about seven rounds, police Chief Inspector Frank Vanore said. He said he didn’t know how many bullets struck Mr. Wallace.
Shaka Johnson, a lawyer for the Wallace family, said Mr. Wallace had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was taking lithium under a doctor’s care.
“The man was suffering,” he said. “When you come to a scene where somebody is in a mental crisis, [and] the only tool you have to deal with it is a gun, that’s a problem.”
Mr. Johnson said police had been called to the Wallace home several times earlier Monday. The deadly confrontation came after Mr. Wallace’s brother had requested an ambulance, Mr. Johnson said, but the police got there first.
Mr. Wallace had eight children, and his wife, Dominique, whom he married three weeks ago, was due to give birth imminently, Mr. Johnson said Wednesday.
Online court records show Mr. Wallace had been arrested several times in Philadelphia since 2013. He was convicted of crimes such as robbery and simple assault, and was awaiting trial on a charge of making terroristic threats, according to the records.
Like other large U.S. cities, Philadelphia had been preparing for potential violence around the Nov. 3 election, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said.
The first of several hundred Pennsylvania National Guard soldiers were expected to arrive in the city Friday, with a primary mission to safeguard property and prevent looting.
Ms. Outlaw said Wednesday she planned to release the audio of 911 calls related to Mr. Wallace’s shooting, as well as body-camera footage of the two officers involved, “in the near future” and after sharing them with Mr. Wallace’s family.
“I think it’s safe to say that once officers were on the scene, people were saying that there may have been mental issues there,” Ms. Outlaw said Wednesday. She said investigators would explore what the officers knew about Mr. Wallace’s mental condition and how that information shaped their response.
District Attorney Larry Krasner said his office would investigate the incident along with the police department.
During a campaign trip to Arizona Wednesday, President Trump said his administration was looking at the Philadelphia shooting. “It’s a terrible thing. What I’m witnessing is terrible,” he said.
He said the federal government would assist if asked to help, but also said the “Democrat-run” city should be able to handle it on its own.
“You’ve got to have law and order. You’ve got to have respect for our police,” Mr. Trump said.
Democratic nominee Joe Biden said Wednesday afternoon in Wilmington, Del., that “there is no excuse whatsoever for the looting and the violence, none whatsoever.”
Mr. Biden said protesting was “totally legitimate, totally reasonable, but I think that the looting is just, as the victim’s father said, ‘Do not do this… you’re not helping, you’re hurting, you’re not helping my son.’ ”