5 Of The Most Grotesque Instances Of Police Brutality And Outright Racism Against Black Philadelphians
Protests after killing of Walter Wallace Jr. reveals long-simmering tension between Black community and police.
October 29, 2020 at 1:24 pm
Philadelphia has become the latest scene of clashes between police and protesters following the shooting death of a Black man at the hands of police. As Blavity previously reported, two police offers fired multiple shots at 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr. as he approaches them with a knife in an encounter captured on video Monday afternoon. The Associated Press reported that Wallace’s family says the man was experiencing a mental health crisis and that they called 911 requesting an ambulance, not police, and that cops should have used non-lethal force to subdue their relative. The city's police union, meanwhile, has defended the shooting as justified.
Wallace’s killing set off two nights of protests that devolved into large-scale looting and clashes between demonstrators and police officers that left at least 90 people arrested and 30 cops injured, according to local ABC affiliate WPVI. The city has since implemented a nighttime curfew and will be bringing in National Guard troops to maintain peace.
The city’s police department has a long history of abuses and using lethal or unnecessary force against Black Philadelphians. Wallace’s killing is just the latest in a long line of incidents and policies that have created tensions between Philadelphia police and Black citizens. The Philadelphia Inquirer has compiled a long, comprehensive timeline of the history of the city’s police and the many incidents of abuse directed towards Black residents.
Here are five of the most relevant and infamous instances of police misconduct, violence and systemic racism that have occurred in Philadelphia prior to Walter Wallace Jr.'s killing.