11:51 PM - October 28, 2020
11:51 PM - October 28, 2020

Recap: Philly under curfew as tensions continue over police shooting death of Walter Wallace Jr.

Mayor Jim Kenney on Wednesday announced a 9 p.m. citywide curfew and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw pledged to release 911 calls and body-worn camera footage of the police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr., steps in a bid to end the unrest that had plagued West Philadelphia for successive nights since Wallace’s death Monday.

Although previous police shootings of Black men in Philadelphia have sparked protests, the department has never before released police footage of an officer’s shooting. Outlaw said she was committed to “a fair and thorough investigation,” and promised to release the materials in the coming days after showing them to Wallace’s family.

Wallace, 27, was fatally shot by two officers Monday, when they responded to the 6100 block of Locust Street for a report of a person with a knife and Wallace walked toward them while holding it. The shooting touched off waves of protests and unrest over the next two nights, with demonstrators taking to the streets and some people breaking into stores and stealing merchandise in West Philadelphia and Port Richmond.

While the mayor and commissioner on Wednesday complimented those who had taken to the streets during impassioned protests, they also condemned demonstrations that ended in clashes with police and with people robbing stores in West Philadelphia and Port Richmond.

Read more of our coverage of today’s events:

10:30 PM - October 28, 2020
10:30 PM - October 28, 2020

Video: Police arrest protesters for violating curfew in West Philly

— Tom Gralish

10:25 PM - October 28, 2020
10:25 PM - October 28, 2020

People arrested for possibly targeting businesses on City Avenue, police say

Police outside the Lord and Taylor on City Avenue after reports of break-ins on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020.
Tim Tai / Staff Photographer
Police outside the Lord and Taylor on City Avenue after reports of break-ins on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020.

Several businesses on Wednesday night were being targeted for break-ins along City Avenue, including some on the Lower Merion Township side of the border with Philadelphia, police said.

For several hours Philadelphia police were tracking caravans of vehicles — including with a possibly stolen U-Haul truck — near shopping centers around the city.

State police stopped one caravan in the area of City Avenue and conducted arrests after recovering a gun, police said. Several other people stopped near a Rite Aid on City Avenue were arrested after police allegedly found they had a gun, too.

Police from Lower Merion Township and Philadelphia were posted at the damaged Lord & Taylor on City Avenue. The department store, which had a large glass window shattered, is among 19 locations that were set to permanently close as part of the chain’s bankruptcy reorganization.

Police were protecting a nearby Acme supermarket and had blocked off Monument Road leading to a Target department store, which also was being guarded by officers.

Police said there were sporadic incidents of businesses being hit in the Kensington and Frankford sections of the city.

A van and a truck also suspected of targeting businesses were stopped by police in the area of the Ben Franklin Parkway. The van reportedly contained some suspicious devices that were being checked by the police bomb squard. There had been several reports earlier of ATMS being targeted around the city.

— Robert Moran and Timothy Tai

10:21 PM - October 28, 2020
10:21 PM - October 28, 2020

Photos: Curfew goes into effect in Philadelphia

9:51 PM - October 28, 2020
9:51 PM - October 28, 2020

Small group of protesters arrested for curfew violation at West Philly police station

A small crowd remains at the police line at 55th and Pine Streets as a city-wide curfew begins at 9 p.m. Oct. 28, 2020. Walter Wallace Jr., was killed by police officers on Oct. 26.
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
A small crowd remains at the police line at 55th and Pine Streets as a city-wide curfew begins at 9 p.m. Oct. 28, 2020. Walter Wallace Jr., was killed by police officers on Oct. 26.

Police on Wednesday night took a small group of people into custody for violating the city’s curfew while they were protesting at the 18th District headquarters at 55th and Pine Streets in West Philadelphia.

The arrests appeared to be orderly. The police station had been the scene of tense standoffs the last two nights since civil unrest erupted after officers fatally shot Walter Wallace Jr. on Monday afternoon.

The citywide curfew took effect at 9 p.m. and police gave the protesters three verbal warnings to disperse.

The police line at 55th and Pine Streets after the citywide curfew had passed.
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
The police line at 55th and Pine Streets after the citywide curfew had passed.

— Robert Moran

9:04 PM - October 28, 2020
9:04 PM - October 28, 2020

Curfew now in effect in Philly

The overnight curfew ordered by Mayor Jim Kenney began at 9 p.m. with no reports of serious unrest in the city.

Police said a small group of protesters were gathered in West Philadelphia a few blocks away from the 18th District headquarters and were speaking through a bullhorn.

In Center City, units from the Pennsylvania State Police began to stage near Love Park with horse-mounted units. The state troopers were deployed from Allentown, Lancaster, Hazleton — and the horses were from Hershey. ‬

— Maddie Hanna and Stephanie Farr

8:40 PM - October 28, 2020
8:40 PM - October 28, 2020

No large protests as 9 p.m. curfew looms in Philly

Restaurants along Rittenhouse Square are open as usual Oct. 28, 2020, ninety minutes before the citywide curfew order begins at 9 p.m. two days after Walter Wallace, Jr. was killed by police officers.
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
Restaurants along Rittenhouse Square are open as usual Oct. 28, 2020, ninety minutes before the citywide curfew order begins at 9 p.m. two days after Walter Wallace, Jr. was killed by police officers.

As curfew approached, Center City appeared quiet, with small numbers of people out — some walking dogs, eating or picking up food from restaurants that remained open. Police were stationed on some corners, and some business windows were boarded up.

A planned demonstration that had been promoted on social media for Washington Square drew around 20 people who milled about and then dispersed. There were a few scattered reports of people trying to enter closed businesses elsewhere in the city but then being chased away by police.

— Maddie Hanna and Stephanie Farr

7:59 PM - October 28, 2020
7:59 PM - October 28, 2020

Video: After two days of unrest, stores board up windows

5:34 PM - October 28, 2020
5:34 PM - October 28, 2020

With curfew looming, stores board windows in Center City

Businesses on Wednesday boarded store windows in Center City after two nights of civil unrest following the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr. on Monday.

Some locations, such as the Wawa at 12th and Market Street, had begun the work on Tuesday, while others were rushing to complete the job late Wednesday.

A citywide curfew was set to go into effect at 9 p.m.

Businesses in Center City board up on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020, after two days of unrest in the city. Protests and property destruction occurred after Philadelphia police shot and killed Walter Wallace Jr. in West Philadelphia.
Oona Goodin-Smith / Staff
Businesses in Center City board up on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020, after two days of unrest in the city. Protests and property destruction occurred after Philadelphia police shot and killed Walter Wallace Jr. in West Philadelphia.
Businesses in Center City board up on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020, after two days of unrest in the city. Protests and property destruction occurred after Philadelphia police shot and killed Walter Wallace Jr. in West Philadelphia.
Oona Goodin-Smith / Staff
Businesses in Center City board up on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020, after two days of unrest in the city. Protests and property destruction occurred after Philadelphia police shot and killed Walter Wallace Jr. in West Philadelphia.

— Oona Goodin-Smith

4:34 PM - October 28, 2020
4:34 PM - October 28, 2020

Gov. Wolf signs disaster proclamation to assist Philly with civil unrest

Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf on Wednesday signed a proclamation of disaster emergency to provide additional state resources to Philadelphia in response to the unrest that has occurred after two city police officers fatally shot Walter Wallace Jr. officers.

“Over the last few days, hundreds of people have gathered to peacefully speak out against social injustice, but their voices are being drowned out by others who are taking advantage of this fragile time in their city to sow mayhem and discord,” Wolf said. “I signed this proclamation so commonwealth resources can be provided quickly to protect lives and property.”

The action allows state agencies to use resources and personnel, as needed, to cope with the magnitude and severity of this emergency situation.

The proclamation is effective for a 90-day period unless sooner rescinded or extended by Wolf.

— Robert Moran

4:18 PM - October 28, 2020
4:18 PM - October 28, 2020

Pa. Guard expected to begin arriving Friday in Philly

The first group from the Pennsylvania National Guard is expected to arrive in Philadelphia on Friday with more expected on Saturday, said Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel, who also is the city’s director of emergency management, at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

— Ellie Silverman

4:06 PM - October 28, 2020
4:06 PM - October 28, 2020

Police Commissioner Outlaw says body-cam video will be released after Wallace family reviews footage first

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon that the 911 call audio and body-cam video will be released after the family of Walter Wallace Jr. has first had a chance to review the material.

Outlaw said the Philadelphia Police Department does not have a mental health unit and says she would like to implement one “as soon as possible.”

Addressing available mental health resources in the city, she said there is “clearly a disconnect on our end as far as knowing what is out there.”

Outlaw said she would like at least for every police officer in operations to have a Taser. That would require about 4,400 to 4,500 Tasers. Outlaw said the department currently has about 2,300.

Mayor Jim Kenney began the news conference by acknowledging the outrage Philadelphians feel about the police killing of Wallace.

He then said he requested the assistance of the Pennsylvania National Guard to safeguard property and prevent thefts from businesses.

“The looting that has taken place in several neighborhoods in Philadelphia is distressing to say the least, and it is unacceptable,” Kenney said.

— Ellie Silverman

3:46 PM - October 28, 2020
3:46 PM - October 28, 2020

Philly councilmembers urge voter support for police reform on ballot

Council president Darrell L. Clarke (center) speaks during a news conference outside City Hall in Philadelphia, Pa. on October 28, 2020. Some councilmembers address legislative actions it is taking to address some of the issues underlying the police-involved shooting and subsequent unrest in Philadelphia.
DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
Council president Darrell L. Clarke (center) speaks during a news conference outside City Hall in Philadelphia, Pa. on October 28, 2020. Some councilmembers address legislative actions it is taking to address some of the issues underlying the police-involved shooting and subsequent unrest in Philadelphia.

Two days after police fatally shot Walter Wallace Jr., members of Philadelphia City Council on Wednesday renewed calls for residents to vote in favor of several city police reforms on the Nov. 3 ballot, including establishing a civilian-led oversight commission, office of victim advocate, and banning the practice of stop-and-frisk.

“The question becomes, who polices the police? We the people should,” said Councilmember Curtis Jones Jr., adding that he learned that officers fatally shot Wallace Monday while participating in a listening session over the police advisory commission.

Alongside Jones and Council President Darrell Clarke, the council members in attendance — Cherelle L. Parker, Maria Quiñones-Sánchez, Derek Green, Isaiah Thomas, and Katherine Gilmore Richardson — called upon voters to take action to help establish reforms, and pushed for the use of de-escalation tactics and mental health services on police calls.

Addressing Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw’s comments that not all officers — including those who shot Wallace — are equipped with Tasers, Clarke told reporters that Council is prepared to fund the department’s five-year, $14 million plan to equip all officers with Tasers.

“If they want to accelerate that plan, then they just simply have to ask for additional revenue,” Clarke said. The police department’s plan involves purchasing some new Tasers, as well as recycling old ones, Clarke said. Council has already supplied $4.5 million of that funding this year, he said.

But additional funding will not create change without de-escalation training and a commission to hold police accountable, Quiñones-Sánchez said. “Two people with a gun should not be leading a response to [a domestic call],” she said.

“Taser or no Taser, 14 shots is excessive force on a mentally ill individual,” Jones added.

Thomas on Wednesday also announced plans to introduce a bill Thursday that would attempt to address racial bias and inequality in motor vehicle stops by banning police from pulling drivers over for minor issues such as a single brake light being out, tinted windows, or an out-of-date inspection. Instead, vehicle owners would be mailed warning notices.

The bill has the support of the Defenders Association of Philadelphia, which analyzed traffic stop data between October 2018 and September 2019 and found that Black drivers comprised 72% of motor vehicle stops despite accounting for just 43% of the city’s population.

Speaking to reporters at City Hall, Clarke also condemned the looting that has taken place across the city, distinguishing it from the protests at Malcolm X Park and throughout West Philadelphia, where demonstrators marched through the streets and protested at the 18th District police precinct, calling for justice for Wallace.

He cautioned against calls from the community and protesters to defund or abolish police. A Pew survey conducted this summer found that most city residents do not support overhauling or shrinking the department.

“Police will always be in the city of Philadelphia, that’s just a simple reality,” he said. “And the residents of this city will always be in the city of Philadelphia. So we have to figure this out.”

— Oona Goodin-Smith and Laura McCrystal

3:02 PM - October 28, 2020
3:02 PM - October 28, 2020

81 people arrested, 23 officers injured during second night of protests

Police arrest a person on Chestnut St. between 52nd and 53rd Streets on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, after a group was throwing objects at police. The unrest was sparked by the death of Walter Wallace Jr., whom police fatally shot Monday.
CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer
Police arrest a person on Chestnut St. between 52nd and 53rd Streets on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, after a group was throwing objects at police. The unrest was sparked by the death of Walter Wallace Jr., whom police fatally shot Monday.

Eighty-one people were arrested from Tuesday night into early Wednesday, Philadelphia police said, amid a second night of unrest in the city stemming from the death of Walter Wallace Jr., whom police fatally shot Monday. In addition, they said, 23 law enforcement officers suffered minor injuries, nine police vehicles were damaged, and nine ATMs were exploded across the city.

The department also updated its totals for Monday night into Tuesday, noting that in all 172 people were arrested for felony and misdemeanor offenses on that first night and early morning of unrest. A total of 53 officers were injured during that period, they said, with 52 suffering minor injuries and one remaining hospitalized with a broken leg after being struck by a truck.

The individual who struck the officer has been charged with a dozen offenses, District Attorney Larry Kranser said Wednesday, and is being held on nearly $1,000,000 bail.

The first night, 17 police and fire vehicles were damaged, as well, the police said.

— Erin McCarthy

2:47 PM - October 28, 2020
2:47 PM - October 28, 2020

Philadelphia announces curfew from 9 p.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday

A Philadelphia Police cruiser drove west on Market Street on Sunday, May 31, 2020, when a curfew was also implemented after racial injustice protests and unrest following the police killing of George Floyd.
YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
A Philadelphia Police cruiser drove west on Market Street on Sunday, May 31, 2020, when a curfew was also implemented after racial injustice protests and unrest following the police killing of George Floyd.

Philadelphia will be under a curfew from 9 p.m. Wednesday until 6 a.m. Thursday, the city announced, confirming an earlier Inquirer report. The announcement comes after two nights of unrest in response to the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr., a 27-year-old Black man whose family said he was suffering a mental health crisis.

“Grocery stores, restaurants and pharmacies may, in their discretion, choose to operate only for delivery services later than 9 p.m.," the city said in a statement, "and should implement appropriate measures to secure their facilities and protect onsite and delivery employees.”

SEPTA does not have any service adjustments planned in response to Wednesday’s 9 p.m. curfew, said spokesperson Andrew Busch.

— Erin McCarthy, Patricia Madej

2:41 PM - October 28, 2020
2:41 PM - October 28, 2020

Trump continues to not address Walter Wallace, Jr.'s death, says he’s ‘waiting for a call’ requesting federal resources to quell unrest

President Donald Trump talks to the media at Trump International Hotel Las Vegas, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020, in Las Vegas.
Evan Vucci / AP
President Donald Trump talks to the media at Trump International Hotel Las Vegas, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020, in Las Vegas.

President Donald Trump doubled down Wednesday on his administration’s earlier statements condemning unrest in Philadelphia but failing to name Walter Wallace Jr., address his family, or acknowledge his tragic death. He said he’s “waiting for a call” requesting federal resources be sent to the city.

Speaking to reporters before a campaign rally in Arizona, Trump called Philadelphia police officers' fatal shooting of Wallace, a 27-year-old Black man suffering a mental health crisis, “a terrible event,” but did not go into details or address his family, who watched Wallace’s death Monday afternoon on a Cobbs Creek street.

Instead, the president returned to familiar rhetoric and placed blame on the Democratic leaders of the city and state.

“What I’m witnessing is terrible," Trump said. "The mayor, or whoever it is, is allowing people to riot and loot and not stop them. It’s also just a horrible thing. I saw the event [police fatally shooting Wallace]. Everybody did. It was a terrible event. I guess that’s being looked at very strongly. The federal government is looking at it also.”

He also falsely claimed that his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, had not condemned the violence, which Biden had done an hour earlier, and suggested Philadelphia should call in the National Guard, which it already had done.

“I went to school in that city. I love the city of Philadelphia,” said Trump, a University of Pennsylvania graduate who last month said “Bad things happen in Philadelphia.” “You can’t let that happen to a wonderful place like Philadelphia.”

He reiterated that his administration would send federal resources to Philadelphia: “We’re waiting for a call. We’ll be ready to go within one hour.”

Philly DA Larry Krasner holds a press conference in Center City on the fatal shooting by police of Walter Wallace Jr. in Philadelphia on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020.
HEATHER KHALIFA / Staff Photographer
Philly DA Larry Krasner holds a press conference in Center City on the fatal shooting by police of Walter Wallace Jr. in Philadelphia on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020.

Philadelphia leaders may not take him up on that offer imminently.

District Attorney Larry Krasner on Wednesday issued a blistering response to the White House’s initial statement on the unrest, which contained many of the same themes.

“Philadelphians are grieving the fatal shooting by police of a Black man who appeared to be in mental health crisis,” Krasner said in a statement. “Instead of working with cities and states to improve accountability and efficacy in policing, instead of supporting and strengthening Black communities, the Trump administration seeks to throw gasoline on a long-burning fire in order to provoke further unrest and violence ahead of an election he is terrified to lose.”

— Erin McCarthy

1:37 PM - October 28, 2020
1:37 PM - October 28, 2020

Joe Biden speaks on Philly unrest, calling protest ‘totally reasonable,’ but ‘there’s no excuse for' property damage

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden wave after they voted at the Carvel State Office Building, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020, in Wilmington, Del.
Andrew Harnik / AP
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden wave after they voted at the Carvel State Office Building, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020, in Wilmington, Del.

Speaking briefly to reporters Wednesday afternoon after voting in Delaware, former Vice President Joe Biden said there is “no excuse” for theft and vandalism that happened in Philadelphia Tuesday night following the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr.

“I think to be able to protest is totally legitimate, totally reasonable,” Biden said. “But there’s no excuse for the looting.”

Biden cited comments made by Wallace’s father, who urged calm Tuesday night and said those participating in violence and property destruction were “showing disrespect” to his son and their family. Biden also pledged to confront the issue of lethal shootings in situations involving mental health issues.

“That’s going to be part of the commission I set up to determine how we deal with these changes,” Biden said.

— Rob Tornoe

1:13 PM - October 28, 2020
1:13 PM - October 28, 2020

Philly police union president calls on city to ‘release what you have. Support your officers.’

In this Oct. 1, 2012 file photo, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 President John McNesby pauses while speaking during a news conference in Philadelphia.
Joseph Kaczmarek / AP
In this Oct. 1, 2012 file photo, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 President John McNesby pauses while speaking during a news conference in Philadelphia.

John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Police Order of Lodge 5, said Wednesday that the officers' union was “calling on the leadership of the city to release the facts” concerning the police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr. in West Philadelphia on Monday.

“It’s not hard, it’s cut-and-dry,” McNesby said during a video posted on social media, as he stood in the aftermath of break-ins, theft, and vandalism on Aramingo Avenue, nine miles from the West Philadelphia protests in response to Wallace’s death. “Release what you have. Support your officers.”

McNesby since Monday has consistently said that the two officers who fired at Wallace acted appropriately in the face of danger to protect themselves and others around them. During a radio interview with host Dom Giordano, McNesby said Wallace ignored commands to drop a knife and then “lunged” toward police before they opened fire — a situation for which he said police are trained and legally justified to shoot.

“He left the officers no choice,” McNesby said of Wallace. Police “don’t look to go to work to hurt anybody. But they also want to go home safe at night while protecting the community.”

During his interview with Giordano, McNesby also blasted the vandalism, theft, and assaults on police that have occurred since in parts of the city, calling it “complete lawlessness.”

And he said Mayor Jim Kenney had not done enough to call out such activity, or to support the city’s police force, taking issue specifically with a statement Kenney released after the shooting offering condolences to Wallace’s relatives but not the officers.

“He should’ve just sat on the steps of the [Wallace] house and wrote a check,” McNesby said. “How about the officers that are out there? How about those officers that are involved, reaching out to them? That’s not happening.”

Chris Palmer

12:33 PM - October 28, 2020
12:33 PM - October 28, 2020

Canvassing effort in West Philly links election to fight against police brutality: “You’re knocking to save a life”

Broderick L. Pitts, lead Canvasser, speaks with a local resident to see if they are registered and voting in the election on Wednesday, Oct., 28, 2020. “I’m all about empowering people,” Pitts said. “Just trying to help people find their voice. This might be the most important election of our lifetime. We are voting against hate.”
TYGER WILLIAMS / Staff Photographer
Broderick L. Pitts, lead Canvasser, speaks with a local resident to see if they are registered and voting in the election on Wednesday, Oct., 28, 2020. “I’m all about empowering people,” Pitts said. “Just trying to help people find their voice. This might be the most important election of our lifetime. We are voting against hate.”

The day after the second night of protests sparked by the police killing of Walter Wallace Jr., the labor union UNITE HERE hosted a canvassing kickoff in Malcolm X Park to link the fight against police brutality and the movement for Black lives to this year’s election.

“When I see what happened to Walter, I see my grandsons,” said Earlene Bly, a lead canvasser and UNITE HERE staffer. “I see my uncles, my cousins. I see myself. I see all of you who look like me. I see all of us in Walter because we’re all told by this country’s actions that our lives don’t matter.”

Since the beginning of the month, UNITE HERE, which represents 6,000 low-wage service workers in Philadelphia, most of whom were laid off during the pandemic, has sent hundreds of their furloughed members into low-income, low turnout neighborhoods to get out the vote for Biden-Harris. The union, which is doing the same in the swing states of Arizona and Florida, says it’s the biggest canvassing operation in the state.

Bly said her team of ten struggled to “find inspiration and strength to get back out their on the doors” after Wallace’s killing. But she said she reminded them, “you’re knocking to save a life."

”I want y’all to remember that," she said to a crowd of more than 100.

Renee Wilson, a laid-off hotel worker who’s been working as a paid canvasser all month, said Wallace’s death infuriated her. “It’s makin' me go out even harder,” said Wilson, 49.

— Juliana Feliciano Reyes

12:10 PM - October 28, 2020
12:10 PM - October 28, 2020

Philadelphia businesses told to expect 9 p.m. curfew Wednesday after two nights of protests, unrest

In this file photo, police stand on the west side of City Hall before the start of a 8 p.m. curfew following the Justice For George Floyd protest on May 30, 2020. Businesses have been told to expect a 9 p.m. curfew in the city Wednesday after two nights of protests and unrests following the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace, Jr. in West Philadelphia.
CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer
In this file photo, police stand on the west side of City Hall before the start of a 8 p.m. curfew following the Justice For George Floyd protest on May 30, 2020. Businesses have been told to expect a 9 p.m. curfew in the city Wednesday after two nights of protests and unrests following the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace, Jr. in West Philadelphia.

The City of Philadelphia will issue a citywide curfew Wednesday afternoon that will go into effect at 9 p.m., according to a message sent to businesses from the managing director’s office.

Restaurants have been “strongly advised” not to open for dinner service. In an email sent to businesses, the city managing director’s office advised caution.

“While the curfew hopefully helps to minimize disturbances I would expect the aggravation and inconvenience to you, your staff or your patrons attempting to navigate the curfew are very likely to overshadow any benefits,” wrote Michael Carroll, the Deputy Managing Director for transportation and infrastructure.

A formal announcement is expected between 1 and 2 p.m.

— Sam Wood

12:00 PM - October 28, 2020
12:00 PM - October 28, 2020

Philly police are determining whether it’s safe to release names of officers who fatally shot Walter Wallace Jr., commissioner says

Police commissioner Danielle Outlaw joins other elected officials and local leaders at an emergency community meeting at the Church of the Christian Compassion in Cobbs Creek on Tuesday to discuss the death of Walter Wallace, Jr. whom police fatally shot in the 6100 block of Locust Street on Monday.
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
Police commissioner Danielle Outlaw joins other elected officials and local leaders at an emergency community meeting at the Church of the Christian Compassion in Cobbs Creek on Tuesday to discuss the death of Walter Wallace, Jr. whom police fatally shot in the 6100 block of Locust Street on Monday.

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said the department planned to release the names of the officers who shot at Walter Wallace Jr. “as long as it does not put the officers' safety at risk.”

Speaking during a virtual news conference Tuesday, Outlaw said the department was conducting a “threat assessment” to determine “if and when” the names could be released.

“We know that the public deserves this information,” she said. “As a matter of department policy, we plan to release it as long as it does not put the officers' safety at risk.”

The department policy, as written, seems to vary from the interpretation Outlaw offered during her remarks.

According to the directive, available online: “A press conference will be held by the Police Commissioner or designee within 72 hours of an officer involved shooting in which an individual was killed or wounded.” The directive goes on to say that the information “will include the officer’s name, years of service, assignment and duty status.”

The policy at one point does say that names of an officer or suspect will be released “unless there are public safety concerns.” But it also goes on to say that investigators will complete a “threat assessment,” and will offer a security detail at the officer’s house if needed.

In 2017, after the police officers' union had sued to block the policy on the grounds that it could put officers in danger, city lawyers went to court to defend it, saying disclosing the names of officers who shoot was imperative in building public trust.

“It’s really important for the Police Department to have transparency,” said then-Solicitor Sozi Tulante.

Chris Palmer

11:48 AM - October 28, 2020
11:48 AM - October 28, 2020

Study: Rate of fatal police shootings of people of Black, indigenous, and other people of color remained constant from 2015 to 2020

The Rev. Jeanette Davis bows her head in prayer as members of the Black clergy gather near the family home of Walter Wallace Jr. on Tuesday.
DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
The Rev. Jeanette Davis bows her head in prayer as members of the Black clergy gather near the family home of Walter Wallace Jr. on Tuesday.

A recent study from the University of Pennsylvania found that the rate of fatal police shootings for Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) was constant from 2015 to 2020. BIPOC also had significantly higher death rates compared with whites in the overall victim pool, and among unarmed victims.

Researchers analyzed publicly available data from the Washington Post, which tracked fatal police shootings for the study. They identified fatal police shootings as an emergency that demands attention from health professionals, who can help frame police violence against BIPOC as a public health crisis for policymakers.

Bethany Ao

11:00 AM - October 28, 2020
11:00 AM - October 28, 2020

Trump responds to Philly unrest, without naming Walter Wallace Jr., and says federal resources are ready to be deployed ‘if requested’

Three days after Philadelphia Police fatally shot Walter Wallace Jr., a 27-year-old Black man who was suffering a mental health crisis, the Trump administration responded Wednesday, blaming the unrest in West Philadelphia on the “liberal Democrats' war against the police" and saying the federal government was prepared to send extra resources to the city “if requested.”

The president’s press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, said in a statement that “all lethal force incidents must be fully investigated.”

While McEnany noted the dangers of police work and expressed sympathy for officers killed in the line of duty, she did not name Wallace or give condolences to his family, who witnessed his death Monday.

“In America, we resolve conflicts through the courts and the justice system. We can never allow mob rule,” she said. “The Trump administration stands proudly with law enforcement, and stands ready, upon request, to deploy any and all federal resources to end these riots.”

Wallace’s family has decried violence that occurred the past two nights in some parts of the city. Much of it is separate from the protests themselves, occurring later in the night and in neighborhoods across the city from the West Philadelphia epicenter of the recent demonstrations.

On Wednesday morning, businesses were cleaning up from overnight break-ins and thefts in Port Richmond, which is about nine miles from the heart of the protests in response to Wallace’s death.

Erin McCarthy

10:08 AM - October 28, 2020
10:08 AM - October 28, 2020

In Port Richmond, across the city from protests, businesses clean up from overnight break-ins and theft

— Inquirer staff photographers

9:00 AM - October 28, 2020
9:00 AM - October 28, 2020

Video: Family, neighbors react to fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr.

— Inquirer Staff

8:43 AM - October 28, 2020
8:43 AM - October 28, 2020

The second night of protests in pictures

— Inquirer staff photographers

8:36 AM - October 28, 2020
8:36 AM - October 28, 2020

What happened on Tuesday during and after a second night of protests in West Philadelphia

A protester raises his fist in front of the police line at 52nd and Chestnut in West Philadelphia on the second night of protesting after Philadelphia police fatally shot Walter Wallace Jr., a 27-year-old Black man, on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020.
HEATHER KHALIFA / Staff Photographer
A protester raises his fist in front of the police line at 52nd and Chestnut in West Philadelphia on the second night of protesting after Philadelphia police fatally shot Walter Wallace Jr., a 27-year-old Black man, on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020.

After an evening of peaceful protests in the wake of the police killing of Walter Wallace Jr., tensions flared between officers and demonstrators Tuesday evening, and scattered looting broke out in several areas of the city, prompting police to request that residents of West and North Philadelphia, Kensington, and other areas remain indoors.

Police and demonstrators skirmished at the intersection of 52nd and Market Streets — the epicenter of protests Monday after police shot and killed Wallace — and officers used pepper spray and batons, making numerous arrests. Some of the demonstrators hurled debris at police, and one officer was struck by a water bottle.

Police reported looting in the area of Castor and Aramingo Avenues in the city’s Port Richmond section, and along City Avenue.

A fire alarm shortly before 2 a.m. stopped the looting, at least temporarily, when the police and fire truck arrived to investigate at the WalMart Supercenter on Wheatsheaf Lane in Phila., Pa. on October 28, 2020.
ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer
A fire alarm shortly before 2 a.m. stopped the looting, at least temporarily, when the police and fire truck arrived to investigate at the WalMart Supercenter on Wheatsheaf Lane in Phila., Pa. on October 28, 2020.

The looting reports precipitated the stay-inside requests from the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management.

The protests after the fatal shooting of Wallace by two police officers, an incident captured on a widely circulated video, evoked the demonstrations against police abuse stirred by the killing of George Floyd in May by police officers in Minneapolis.

— Oona Goodin-Smith, Vinny Vella, and Anthony R. Wood

8:30 AM - October 28, 2020
8:30 AM - October 28, 2020

West Philly residents say they are used to seeing Black people abused: ‘We know that this is what we can expect from the Philadelphia police force.’

Community members seated in the balcony shout out as elected officials and local leaders speak during an emergency community meeting at the Church of the Christian Compassion in Cobbs Creek Oct. 27, 2020,. to discuss the death of Walter Wallace, Jr. whom police officers fatally shot in the 6100 block of Locust St. on Monday, Oct. 26.
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
Community members seated in the balcony shout out as elected officials and local leaders speak during an emergency community meeting at the Church of the Christian Compassion in Cobbs Creek Oct. 27, 2020,. to discuss the death of Walter Wallace, Jr. whom police officers fatally shot in the 6100 block of Locust St. on Monday, Oct. 26.

For many West Philadelphians, the shock and grief of the police killing of Walter Wallace Jr. is tinged with a terrible sense of familiarity.

Just five months ago, the teargassing of the predominantly Black neighborhood prompted outrage and a promise from officials that reform would come and officers would be held accountable. After Wallace’s death on Monday — in broad daylight, on his own street, as his mother and neighbors begged police not to shoot — those promises seem hollow for many in the neighborhood.

“They don’t want anything to be different,” said Kamau Mshale, an activist and longtime West Philadelphia resident. “They just want people to shut up about it.”

“It is sadly unsurprising. We’ve seen a number of losses of this kind — it’s tremendously traumatizing for that entire community,” said Krystal Strong, a University of Pennsylvania professor, West Philadelphia resident, and organizer with the Black Philly Radical Collective, an assembly of activist groups that includes Black Lives Matter. “We know that this is what we can expect from the Philadelphia police force.”

— Jason Laughlin, Aubrey Whelan, and Ellie Silverman

8:25 AM - October 28, 2020
8:25 AM - October 28, 2020

Police had been to Walter Wallace Jr.'s home many times, sources say, sparking more questions about his death

Family and friends shout "Black Lives Matter" outside Walter Wallace Jr.'s home in West Philadelphia Philadelphia, Pa. Tuesday, October 27, 2020. Police officers fatally shot Wallace, a 27-year-old Black man armed with a knife, Monday afternoon in West Philadelphia.
JOSE F. MORENO / Staff Photographer
Family and friends shout "Black Lives Matter" outside Walter Wallace Jr.'s home in West Philadelphia Philadelphia, Pa. Tuesday, October 27, 2020. Police officers fatally shot Wallace, a 27-year-old Black man armed with a knife, Monday afternoon in West Philadelphia.

Police were 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 at the West Philadelphia house before two officers answered a third call and shot him as he approached them with a knife, according to law enforcement sources.

What happened during those earlier visits — including which officers responded and how much they knew about Wallace’s mental health problems — remained unclear Tuesday. Asked at a news briefing, Commissioner Danielle Outlaw declined to offer details about prior contact police had with Wallace, saying the incident remained under investigation.

But the confirmation of previous visits, by sources not authorized to publicly discuss them, fueled growing questions about the police response to what Wallace’s relatives have described as a mental health crisis.

Attorney's for the Wallace family, Shaka Johnson, left, and Kevin P. O'Brien, right, speak to the media outside Walter Wallace Jr.'s home in West Philadelphia Philadelphia, Pa. Tuesday, October 27, 2020.
JOSE F. MORENO / Staff Photographer
Attorney's for the Wallace family, Shaka Johnson, left, and Kevin P. O'Brien, right, speak to the media outside Walter Wallace Jr.'s home in West Philadelphia Philadelphia, Pa. Tuesday, October 27, 2020.

A lawyer for Wallace’s family, Shaka Johnson, said that before the shooting, relatives had called 911 asking for an ambulance — not police officers — to help mitigate the 27-year-old’s spiraling condition. Calling the shooting “unjustified,” Johnson said that Wallace’s pregnant wife had told officers when they arrived that her husband had bipolar disorder.

“Officers who are properly trained should notice certain things when they arrive at a scene,” Johnson said Tuesday. “Especially when his wife tells you, ‘Stand down officers, he’s manic bipolar.’”

— Chris Palmer, Mike Newall, Mensah M. Dean, and Ellie Rushing

8:12 AM - October 28, 2020
8:12 AM - October 28, 2020

Who was Walter Wallace Jr.? A father, a newlywed, and a quiet neighbor

The family of Walter Wallace, Jr. steps out of their home to talk to the news media Oct. 27, 2020, near where their son was shot and killed by police officers on Monday, Oct. 26.
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
The family of Walter Wallace, Jr. steps out of their home to talk to the news media Oct. 27, 2020, near where their son was shot and killed by police officers on Monday, Oct. 26.

A few steps from chalk lines that had circled shell casings and other evidence from a Monday afternoon police shooting in West Philadelphia, family, friends, and neighbors recalled 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr.:

A father of eight who struggled with mental illness. A quiet neighbor. An Uber Eats driver and aspiring rapper.

A cousin opened the doors of her red Toyota Camry, plugged her phone into its speakers, and played one of Wallace’s songs, “Black Hearted,” then doubled over in the middle of the 6100 block of Locust Street and wept.

Neighbors and family members sat on their steps and leaned over porch railings, swaying back and forth, their eyes closed, as the song’s lyrics described police violence and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Walter Wallace Jr. in a 2018 family photo. He was fatally shot by police officers in the 6100 block of Locust Street Oct. 26, 2020.
Family Photo
Walter Wallace Jr. in a 2018 family photo. He was fatally shot by police officers in the 6100 block of Locust Street Oct. 26, 2020.

The words played out in real life the day before, when two police officers responded to a call for help at the Wallace rowhouse and then ended up firing 14 bullets at a distraught young man who they said approached them armed with a knife.

“He was a family man,” said Tasha White, who lives a few doors down. “He walked with his kids and he walked with his mom.”

“He was a quiet kid,” White said. “Whatever happened yesterday, that was different. That wasn’t normal.”

Ellie Rushing, Bethany Ao, Mensah M. Dean, and Dylan Purcell