On Monday afternoon, 27-year-old Walter Wallace, Jr. was shot and killed by police officers after he refused their orders to drop a knife.

On Tuesday evening, three of his young sons appeared in a press conference surrounded by family members.

Zamir, who appeared to be the eldest, spoke of his “slain” father, saying:

So we used to always hang out. And we used to always go places. And we would always play around. And he teach me how to be a man.

And white racists cops got my own dad.


And black lives still matter.


In addition to the boys who appeared in the video, Wallace fathered five other children, and had a ninth on the way. His new wife, who is expecting their child as soon as this week, was one of the people who told police he had bipolar disorder.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, police had been called dozens of times in recent months about problems at Walter Wallace Jr.’s home, and had responded twice on Monday to reports of disturbances there, before the third visit ended in tragedy.

Since May, police had received 31 calls about the address — including reports of someone with a weapon as well as assaults.

Wallace had also been in and out of court for nearly a decade, with convictions for crimes including resisting arrest and robbery.

He had been arrested in March after he allegedly threatened his child’s mother over the phone, saying, “I’ll shoot you and that house up,” NBC said.

In 2019, he was charged with resisting arrest by “kicking the windows and door panels of a police patrol car.”

In 2016, during a robbery, he allegedly grabbed a woman by the neck and held what she believed to be a gun to her head, NBC said, citing court records. He was sentenced to 11 to 23 months behind bars, WPVI said.

Philadelphia’s police commissioner, Danielle Outlaw, who is Black, said the investigation into Wallace’s shooting will review whether either of the officers involved had any previous interaction with the victim.

“There are several questions that need to be answered … 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.”

A relative of Wallace, Anthony Fitzhugh, 49, said a family member had called police Monday because Wallace was having a mental episode.

“I understand he had a knife, and their job is to protect and serve,” said Fitzhugh, a cousin to Wallace. “By all means do so, but do not let lethal force be the means by which you de-escalate the situation.”

Outlaw said neither officer involved in the shooting was equipped with a Taser. According to a department spokesperson, 2,301 officers, or about a third of the force, have completed the proper training to carry Tasers and are required to carry them while on duty.

Meanwhile, protestors took to the streets for a second night of anger in response to Wallace’s death.
According to Fox News, about 1,000 people targeted businesses in Philadelphia including a Foot Locker, Rite Aid, a Burlington Coat Factory, Target and Dollar General. At least one vehicle was set on fire.

Videos posted to social media showed people running out of a Walmart with clothes, electronics and other merchandise. One person appears to be hauling away a washing machine.

Removing appliances from stores without payment is apparently a valid response to any officer-involved shooting of a man of color. According to current cultural norms, the term “looting” for such activity is no longer appropriate.

Because the Hindi word “loot” entered the English language during the late 1700s in colonial India, it must have racist origins.

According to one writer, Using the word looting “prevents us from addressing the unrest as a rational, if angry, critique of the traditional racial order.”

The action of stealing shoes, televisions and housewares is actually a “revolt of the oppressed.”

Sadly, we shall probably see more of that type of revolt. When a school-age child, one day after his father’s death, has the apparent composure to assert “white racist cops got my own dad,” we have a long road ahead.

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