Protesters hold a banner reading ‘enough is enough’ during a rally after the death of Walter Wallace Jr, a Black man who was shot by police in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania [Bastiaan Slabbers/Reuters]

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

The Philadelphia police commissioner vowed Thursday to release body camera footage of officers shooting and killing a Black man in the “near future.” The family of Walter Wallace Jr. reviewed all available police body camera footage and listened to available 911 audio recordings related to the shooting, a source said Thursday, essentially clearing it for public eyes. Wallace’s death Monday prompted days of protests and riots.

Wallace was reportedly in the throes of a mental health crisis when he ignored officers’ repeated orders to drop a knife and was shot and killed. Philadelphia’s mayor imposed a curfew and called in the National Guard Wednesday following incidents of property destruction. Despite the 9 p.m. curfew, which has since been lifted, looting was still reported across the city and more than half the stores in a northeast Philadelphia strip mall were vandalized. 

President Donald Trump focused on the chaos and violence of big cities in hopes of winning back suburban voters. The Trump administration also said riots are enabled by Democrats while he is tough on crime. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden maintained the same response to police shootings throughout the last few months – he decries the killings and upholds protestors’ right to speak out peacefully, but condemns looting and violence.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

Attorneys for Walter Wallace Jr. family hold news conference – 6 ABC Philadelphia – 10/29/2020
Lawyers say the family of Walter Wallace Jr., the man shot and killed by Philadelphia police officers on Monday, has seen body camera video of the incident. There was no word on when that video will be released to the public.

Philadelphia to release police body camera footage, 911 calls in Walter Wallace Jr. shooting – Fox News – 10/29/2020
Philadelphia officials have said they will release the police body camera footage and the 911 tapes in connection with the officer-involved shooting of Walter Wallace Jr., an armed Black man reportedly with a mental health history, following three nights of unrest in the city and elsewhere in the country.

Police Shot a Black Man 10 Times While His Mother Begged Them to De-Escalate – Vice – 10/29/2020
The killing sparked protests in West Philadelphia. Several hundred demonstrators took over the streets, video taken by reporters and other observers showed. There was “considerable property damage,” according to the Inquirer.

NYPD’s sergeants union blasts Biden, Sanders for Walter Wallace tweets – New York Post – 10/29/2020
The NYPD sergeants union took aim this week at Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden for their tweets about Walter Wallace, the knife-wielding man shot and killed by Philadelphia police this week.

State Sen. Street: ‘Over 2.1 million people have already voted in PA’ – MSNBC – 10/29/2020
State Senator Sharif Street, Vice Chair of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, joins Andrea Mitchell to discuss the Supreme Court deciding to not yet rule on accepting late mail-in ballots in PA, the more than 2 million early votes cast so far, which Street touts as a sign of enthusiasm. He also addresses the police killing of Walter Wallace Jr., saying that Wallace was “shot and killed-in part because the wrong folks were there. We shouldn’t have to use the police for everything.”

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

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