WEST PHILADELPHIA - “I didn’t see them trying to talk this young man down. You know what I mean? So I don’t know. It’s just sad for our neighborhood, again,” resident Ms. Tate stated.
Waves of anger and frustration at 61st and Locust Tuesday, following Monday’s deadly officer-involved shooting. Ms Tate, who lives on the block, wonders how Philadelphia police weren’t better informed of Walter Wallace’s condition since they’d been out there all day.
“They said this started at 8:30 in the morning and transpired throughout the day. So, if police were already called for an altercation earlier that day, then they should know that at this address, it was already issued,” Ms. Tate explained.
There were 100 possible resolutions, or 1,000, that don’t end in Wallace being shot to death, says the victim’s cousin, Terrance Jackson.
“They coulda give that man a chance to try to calm down. They could’ve tased him. Anything. They killed him in front of his mom. And, now we’re out here in an uproar and everybody’s going crazy and looking at him like he did something wrong. And, that man never did nothing wrong,” Jackson explained.
Reactions turned to rage and sporadic rioting and looting overnight. Black-owned and familiar neighborhood businesses were often spared as national chains were smashed. A look in the windows shows the chaos left at Foot Locker, as shoeboxes and unwanted display shoes littered Chestnut Street. Al calls it the worst kind of foolishness.
“You know there’s no reason to be looting when you’re fighting for a cause. And, uh, robbing and stealing from innocent people is not a good thing,” Al stated.
And, it wasn’t over Tuesday afternoon as looters were still going under the gate until a can full of police pulled up to stand guard. The CVS at 49th and Market was hit and already boarded up.
“When you loot the CVS, you’re looting the place where your grandparents and other seniors get their medications in this neighborhood. Now what?” commented resident Ms. Pam.
Ms. Pam owns neighborhood boutique Jimmy Angel’s. It was spared. But, she was waiting for her prescription at CVS . Now, she has to try something else.
“I have to take something instead of. That,” Ms. Pam said.
“You have to take a substitute medication? Does that worry you?” asked FOX 29’s Hank Flynn.
“Yes, it does, because I haven’t taken it, yet and I don’t know what it’s going to do,” Ms. Pam replied.
Many in the neighborhood are angry, but none called for violence or mayhem against police or storefronts. Most are frustrated and seeing this same thing happen over and over. Most are calling for nonviolence and a better way of looking at things.
Here is hoping everyone can get there.
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