Activism Police Race

Protests Occur in Philadelphia & DC Over the Police Murders of Walter Wallace and Karon Hylton

On Monday, Walter Wallace, a 27-year-old Black man, was shot and killed by police in West Philadelphia. Last Friday, Karon Hylton, a 20-year-old Black man, was killed in a moped crash while being chased by police. These murders come in the context of many others killed – George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Jacob Blake. A total of 874 people have been killed by police this year, 28% of those being Black. Black people comprise 13% of the population.

Walter Wallace had bipolar disorder, for which his family had called for an ambulance, not a police response. The Wallace family’s attorney, Shaka Johnson, said “When you come to a scene where somebody is in a mental crisis, and the only tool you have to deal with it is a gun … where are the proper tools for the job?” Wallace’s family has asked for protestors to keep demonstrations peaceful. Wallace’s father, Walter Wallace Sr., echoed this sentiment, stating “All this violence and looting. I don’t want to leave a bad scar on my son and my family with this looting and chaos stuff…I want my son’s name and everybody to stop this. Give my son a chance…Everybody to have respect for our family, to pray for us. Cut it out. The looting is a mindset and it won’t bring my son back. And it won’t, it will escalate things to get worse instead of better.”. At least 91 people were arrested late Monday and early Tuesday, and the Pennsylvania National Guard was mobilized.

In D.C., police are saying that Karon Hylton crashed into a car during the chase, whereas Hylton’s family and friends say that he was hit by the police. Tuesday night, protestors gathered at the 4th District in D.C., demanding that body camera footage be released and that officers that were at the scene are held accountable. Hylton’s death left his girlfriend and 3-month-old daughter alone and distraught. His girlfriend, Amaala Jones-Bey, said “I don’t have… words for this,” she said. “I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy, because it really is like leave you stuck, lost confused on how it’s happening… I had a whole family plan, not today, not tomorrow, but I was going to get my family, and Karon was working towards that.”

Sources: Feminist Newswire 6/10/20, Feminist Newswire 5/15/20, Feminist Newswire 8/24/20, Mapping Police Violence 10/19/20, NBC Philadelphia 10/28/20, CNN 10/28/20, Wall Street Journal 10/28/20, CBS 10/28/20