As police said they had regained control of 52nd and Market Street after a clash with protesters Tuesday night, nearby at 52nd and Chestnut, a man got down on a knee in the middle of the empty intersection and proposed to his girlfriend to cheers and applause from onlookers.
Hundreds flooded the streets of West Philadelphia in protest of the death of Walter Wallace Jr., a Black man who was shot and killed by police officers Monday afternoon near his home at 61st and Locust streets. His family said Wallace, a father and aspiring rapper, struggled with mental illness.
Maurice Small, 32, proposed to Tanesha Pennington, his girlfriend of eight years, in the intersection of 52nd and Chestnut, as a line of police officers with riot shields looked on.
Pennington said she and Small conceived a baby, but had lost it to a miscarriage. The tragedy, she said, brought them closer together, and led to Tuesday’s moment.
“We realized we didn’t want to be with anyone else,” a tearful Pennington said.