Black Man Shot, Killed In Philadelphia Needed Mental Health Help, Family Says
The mayor of Philadelphia imposed a citywide curfew Wednesday in response to waves of protests and unrest this week after Walter Wallace Jr., 27, was shot and killed Monday by police. Protesters say the shooting is making them rethink how they will vote in the presidential election.
Family Says Walter Wallace Jr., Killed By Philadelphia Police, Needed Mental Health Treatment
On Monday afternoon, police officers arrived at Walter Wallace Jr.'s West Philadelphia row home for a third time that day. Relatives said he was having "another one of his episodes." In the past, when emotions ran high, Wallace, 27, an aspiring rapper and father of eight, could be pacified with the mention of his young children or a song he liked. But he grappled with mental illness, including bipolar disorder, and he had been going to therapy as recently as last week, said Anthony Fitzhugh, a cousin. (Ortiz, 10/28)
Philly Shooting Brings Policing, Racism Back Into Campaign
The fatal shooting of another Black man on America’s streets by police — with subsequent unrest — has brought the fraught issues of policing and racism in the nation back to the fore of the presidential election in its closing days. Philadelphia police say Walter Wallace Jr., 27, was shot earlier this week in the throes of a mental health crisis after he ignored officers’ repeated orders to drop a knife. The encounter, caught on video, spurred violent unrest in Philadelphia, and now has both President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden calibrating how to address some of the same questions that roiled American cities — and the presidential campaign — earlier this year as they negotiate the end game for a race in which Pennsylvania is a critical battleground. (Lauer, Madhani and Bumsted, 10/29)
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Philadelphia Curfew, Protests After Police Shooting 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. (10/28)
Detroit Free Press:
Mike Pence In Flint Downplays Systemic Racism, Urges Support For Trump
President Donald Trump supports law enforcement, does not believe in institutional racism and is the only right choice for the voters of Michigan, Vice President Mike Pence said during a speech in Flint on Wednesday evening. The speech came six days before polls open Tuesday. Although roughly 2.4 million Michiganders have already voted, at least that many are still expected to either cast absentee ballots or vote in person on Election Day. (Boucher, 10/28)
Pandemic, Anti-Racism Protests May Boost Marijuana Legalization
The pandemic and nationwide protests against racism and police brutality have boosted pro-legalization tax and equity arguments this year, supporters say. Not only has the coronavirus caused a global recession and hollowed out state budgets, but voters may be more willing to see legal pot as a social justice issue. A heavy advantage in fundraising and the increasing nationwide support for legalization also are boosting the campaigns. But opponents argue that marijuana sales provide relatively limited tax revenue and pose public health risks, such as potential increased addiction and drugged driving. (Quinton, 10/29)