FACTS

    Protests and rioting have erupted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after two police officers shot and killed 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr. last Monday night. The incident occurred after police were called to the neighborhood where Wallace, who was diagnosed with bipolar and was experiencing a mental health “episode,” was wielding a knife. Officers say Wallace “ignored commands to drop [the knife],” and they shot as he came towards them. The family’s attorney, Shaka Johnson, said it was the third time cops had been called on Wallace that day due to domestic disturbances. Both officers involved have been taken off of active duty while an investigation is underway. As of Tuesday, over 50 police officers had been harmed and 170 people had been arrested; by Wednesday, there were nearly 300 incidents of looting in the city. Johnson stated that the family does not want to press charges against the officers.

    RIGHT

    The Right points out that, again, the narrative being painted about Wallace is false. The statement made by his father that “He wouldn’t hurt a fly” is being contested: “The convicted felon was awaiting trial for threatening to shoot a woman & her house up. In 2017, he pled guilty to putting a gun to another woman’s head,” read one tweet. Another said, “Walter Wallace Jr. had more mugshots than most men have selfies.” Political commentator Tucker Carlson also noted that Wallace was awaiting trial for threatening to kill a woman and had previously pleaded guilty to robbery, assault, resisting arrest, and punching a police officer in the face. “Now they will tell you none of that is relevant,” he stated, “but of course it’s relevant…he demonstrated willingness to use violence. He was killed because he waved a knife in the middle of a busy street in front of police. The press doesn’t want you to know any of that.”

    “Our police officers are being vilified for doing their job and keeping the community safe, after being confronted by a man with a knife…Our thoughts and prayers are with these police officers who had to use lethal force to keep themselves and the community safe.”

    John McNesby, President of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5

    Police department spokesperson Sgt. Eric Gripp said that the video footage was being reviewed, and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw announced that all information – “including what the officers knew when they responded, what was put out by radio, and how any previous contact with Mr. Wallace factored into yesterday” – would be investigated.

    LEFT

    Wallace’s death has intensified the Left’s calls for defunding the police. Eric Levenson, writing for CNN, said, “The police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr., captured on cell phone video, is just the latest instance of police officers using violence against Black people, who are disproportionately targeted by law enforcement.” Civil rights attorney Ben Crump wrote, “They didn’t see a Black man needing help, but rather a threat & a target for their hate!”

    “A mental health episode should not be a death sentence. Walter Wallace Jr. should be alive today. For him, his mother and his loved ones, we must dismantle systems that criminalize Black mental illness and respond to mental health episodes with a violent police force.”

    Rashad Robinson, President of Color of Change

    Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar tweeted, “A mother is now without her son. Children are without a father. A widow is without her husband. Walter Wallace Jr. should still be with us today. How long will we allow this system of impunity to continue?”

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