Father of man killed by Philadelphia police appeals for calm amid second night of protests
The father of a man killed by Philadelphia police officers on Tuesday made an appeal for an easing of tensions amid the second night of protests sparked by his son’s death.
Demonstrations sparked overnight on Monday following the death of 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr., who was killed by police just before 4 p.m. after officers reportedly ordered him to drop a knife.
“I don’t condone no violence — tearing up the city, looting in the stores — and all this chaos,” Walter Wallace Sr. said on Tuesday. “I need everybody to have respect for my family and my son to stop this violence and chaos.”
The elder Wallace then pleaded for justice for his son and urged protesters to come together instead of harming the family.
“People have businesses and we all got to eat … So, why would we hurt the resources that we have in our community instead of binding together?” he said. “It’s an SOS to help not to hurt and cause no chaos — violence, looting, fires — because I wasn’t brought up like that.”
In video of the incident, Wallace Jr. can be seen approaching police officers who have their weapons drawn. It is unclear if he was carrying a knife, but several witnesses have said that he was holding one.
An attorney representing Wallace Jr.’s family said Tuesday that before the encounter, they called for an ambulance because he was having a mental health crisis.
Wallace Jr. was shot in the shoulder and chest, and was later pronounced dead at the hospital, The Associated Press reported on Monday.
His death sparked protests which, in a statement Tuesday night, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany blamed on “Liberal Democrats’ war against the police”
“Law enforcement is an incredibly dangerous occupation, and thousands of officers have given their lives in the line of duty,” she said. “All lethal force incidents must be fully investigated. The facts must be followed wherever they lead to ensure fair and just results. In America, we resolve conflicts through the courts and the justice system. We can never allow mob rule.”