Saturday, October 31, 2020 – 14:05
For four days, citizens will have to stay in their homes from nine at night to prevent the riots over the death of a black citizen at the hands of the police from spreading to election night
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Dozens of heavily armed National Guard soldiers took positions since Friday in strategic locations in Philadelphia to impose a curfew starting at 9 p.m. and for four days. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf called for deployment after the riots over the death of Walter Wallace Jr., which resulted in 30 wounded police officers and acts of vandalism throughout the city, and fearing that the protests would extend into election night.
Wallace, 27, father of eight, driver and aspiring rapper, was shot 14 times on October 26 after refusing to hand over a knife with which he allegedly threatened a woman. His own family had called minutes before for an ambulance claiming that he needed medical assistance for a metal disorder. The police had him “booked” for past attacks and terrorist threats.
Five months after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, the movement Black Lives Matter has reactivated its protests in time for 3N. “Let’s stop police brutality!” Could be read on the banner displayed by Jacinda Martin, a Penn University student, at the gates of Philadelphia City Hall and in the middle of the “landing” of the National Guard.
“This is not solved with soldiers or weapons,” Jacinda lamented. “This is solved with justice and with exemplary punishments to the police who indiscriminately abuse non-white citizens. Rare is the week that the country is not moved by a new death at the hands of the police, and the most responsible in this president who he has been instigating racism in all its manifestations for four years. “
Democratic candidate Joe Biden and aspiring Vice President Kamala Harris released a statement this week extending their condolences to Walter Wallace’s family and warning that “this country cannot admit that a mental crisis ends in death.” Attorney Shaka Johnson claimed that Wallace had bipolar disorder and was on medication, that his own family called for an ambulance and not a squad car, and that the police may have used a stun gun on the victim to disarm him instead of shooting him.
In video recorded during the police intervention, the two officers can be heard twice urging Wallace to drop the knife at gunpoint. As the aggressor continued advancing, one of them ordered: “Shoot him!”. Each fired seven shots at Wallace, who was transferred to a hospital and admitted dead.
The two agents have been relieved of their duties for the time being. Chief Commissioner Danielle Outlaw has promised full transparency in research. Several civil rights groups have anticipated that they will continue to call protests despite the curfew. Mood has heated up even more after the indictment this week of four activists (including Anthony Smith, a university professor and coordinator of Philly for Real Justice) for “destruction of private property” during the Black Lives Matter protests. after George Floyd’s death.
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