Protests erupt in US after police kill black man

October 28, 2020
Looters getting out of a mobile phone store following protests over the death of Walter Wallace in Philadelphia. — Reuters
Looters getting out of a mobile phone store following protests over the death of Walter Wallace in Philadelphia. — Reuters

During a night of sporadic riots and looting in the city, around 30 police officers were injured, including one whose leg was broken when hit by a truck.

A spokesman for Philadelphia police said most injuries were caused by projectiles such as bricks and rocks.

The victim had mental issues, says his father

“All (are) in stable condition at various hospitals,” said Miguel Torres, the spokesman.

The US has seen a wave of protests and rioting since the police killing of George Floyd in May in Minnesota, when an officer was filmed pressing his knee to handcuffed Floyd’s neck until he went limp.

Many of the protesters have accused the police of racism and brutality, but President Donald Trump has focused on the unrest to bolster his claims to be the “law-and-order” candidate in his election battle against Joe Biden.

“We’ll be standing by and prepared to deploy federal resources, if necessary,” White House director of communications Alyssa Farah told Fox News on Tuesday.

“President Trump will not tolerate any violence directed at America’s law enforcement. We’re going to let the investigation play out, but we will not tolerate lawlessness in our streets.”

Local media said phone video of Monday’s killing posted on social media showed Walter Wallace push his mother away and then walk towards the police.

“Put the knife down,” one of the officers shouted in the video, which panned away as officers opened fire.

Wallace’s father, also called Walter Wallace, said his son appeared to have been shot 10 times, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“Why didn’t they use a Taser?” the paper quoted him as asking. “He has mental issues. Why you have to gun him down?” he added, saying that his son was on medication.

Philadelphia Police Commi­ssioner Danielle Outlaw launched an investigation, saying that the video “raises many questions”.

“While at the scene this evening, I heard and felt the anger of the community,” she said in a statement.

“Everyone involved will forever be impacted. I will be leaning on what the investigation gleans to answer the many unanswered questions that exist.”

Published in Dawn, October 28th, 2020

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