The man shot and killed by Philadelphia Police officers in an incident that set off the most intense race riots nationally in months was a repeat violent convict who was awaiting trial when he charged at two officers with a knife.
The full Walter Wallace shooting video shows him approaching police officers with a knife. pic.twitter.com/axveqdR3Vc
— Richard (@Wildman_AZ) October 28, 2020
Walter Wallace Jr. had plead guilty to robbery, assault, and possessing an instrument of crime stemming from an incident in which he broke down a woman’s door and held a gun to her head in 2017. He previously plead guilty to assault and resisting arrest in 2013, after punching a police officer in the face.
Wallace Jr. had been awaiting trial on a new set of felony charges, in which he was accused of communicating threats to a woman
ABC 6 Philadelphia has also reported that Wallace was a rapper who frequently performed music about shooting and killing police officers.
Wallace’s family has indicated that he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and an attorney has revealed that he had been prescribed lithium for mental health problems.
More than 1,000 looters pillaged more than 30 businesses in Philadelphia in Wallace’s name over Monday and Tuesday nights, with the police largely absent from the scene.
Chopper 6 over the scene as a Foot Locker in West Philadelphia is looted following the death of Walter Wallace, who police say was shot by officers after he would not drop a knife. https://t.co/BtTPSlQIwI pic.twitter.com/7hNeLEvJCM
— Action News on 6abc (@6abc) October 27, 2020
Joe Biden described Wallace’s death as unacceptable in a Tuesday press release, declining to offer an alternative path of action for the responding officers when the repeat violent felon charged them with a knife. Fortunately for him, he doesn’t have to deal with such a dangerous situation.
Our hearts are broken for the family of Walter Wallace Jr., and for all those suffering the emotional weight of learning about another Black life in America lost.
Walter’s life mattered. https://t.co/mGki28Cpyr
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 27, 2020
Crime Watch: Robberies and Rapes Way Down, Homicides Way Up Across US
Some police departments are blaming the increase on the unintended consequences of coronavirus restrictions and the summer’s mass riots.
According to statistics compiled from 223 police agencies, homicides across the United States have risen more than 28 percent and aggravated assaults around nine percent in the first nine months of 2020.
A Washington Post article details some of the cities where homicides have risen dramatically since this time last year. For example, Boston’s homicide rate has increased by 52 percent and Fort Worth’s by 66 percent. Interestingly enough, the cities that experienced some of the worst summer rioting have seen homicides skyrocket the most: Minneapolis (85 percent increase), Louisville (79 percent increase), Portland (68 percent increase), and Milwaukee (110 percent increase).
Overall, 70 percent of the large cities surveyed saw an increase in homicides, 21 percent a decrease, and nine percent no change.
There are several factors that could account for this, such as the coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions, the mass riots over “police brutality” and “systemic racism,” law enforcement budget cuts, and criminal justice reform.
In Houston, a city that did not see the levels of summer chaos that other cities saw, homicides are up 35 percent, and Houston Police Department Assistant Chief Heather Morris is partly blaming bail reform.
“We had 28 suspects last year who were on bond or parole when they committed a murder,” Morris said, “and this year we’ve had 44. The person who killed one of our officers a week ago was out on $100 bond for unlawfully possessing a weapon. […] Bond reform in some cases is needed, but you have people who allegedly committed violent crimes getting out on bond when they haven’t in the past.”
Chuck Wexler, Executive Director of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), said of the nationwide spikes: “We haven’t seen numbers like this since the ’90s. We’ve had 20 years of steady declines in crime. Is this just an aberration, or does this portend something for the future? This has been under the radar because of the pandemic, but something’s happening across the country in the most serious crimes. The next administration, they’re going to have to pay serious attention to this.”
Despite these troubling numbers in homicide rates, rapes and robberies are significantly down compared to last year. 73 percent of large cities reported decreases in robberies and 86 percent in rapes. This may be due to the coronavirus pandemic as well, since people are not out and about at the same level as last year.
In other recent crime news, Big League Politics reported that minorities are more likely to commit hate crimes than whites, per FBI statistics.
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