Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Earl Ofari Hutchinson: Did They Really Have to Shoot and Kill Walter Wallace Jr.?

*Thousands of viewers have watched a Facebook/YouTube clip of a knife welding young man brandishing his weapon menacingly at a knot of Columbian police officers.

The man taunted, waved his knife, and even lunged at officers. The officers cordoned him off, waited patiently, and continued to talk to him.

The stand-off ended when one officer rushed the suspect from behind with a deft move that knocked the knife out of his hand. He was quickly subdued. The point. Neither he, the officers, or any civilians were injured. The point further, he was taken alive. Here’s the clip of the commendable action by Columbian police.

Why is he alive, then, and Walter Wallace Jr. isn’t? Wallace also had a knife. He had a mental challenge. Yet, He was gunned down by Philadelphia police.

The killing sparked a couple nights of violence in the city. Philadelphia police and city officials were disturbed at the Wallace slaying. They should be. The Wallace slaying was just the latest in the long and never-ending train of police killings of young Black men. And always, the tormenting question: Did they have to die? Weren’t there other ways that police could have handled the incident without gunplay?

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Columbian police answered those questions convincingly. They weren’t the only ones. There have been other instances where police also subdued a knife welding suspect without resorting to deadly force. In almost all cases, though the suspects have not been young Black men. Witnesses to the Wallace slaying of Wallace also provided a partial answer. They shouted at police to taser him or use other non-lethal means to subdue him. Wallace’s history of mental illness was known by his family and others. They demanded to know why the police and not trained medical personnel were the first responders to the scene.

The fact that there are other ways to subdue a suspect without resorting to lethal force, and that seemingly the ones most likely to die in a hail of bullets are Black suspects deepens anger and suspicion that this is just another example of police being the judge, jury and executioner of Blacks. Philadelphia police officials, city officials and the DA promise to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the Wallace shooting. There’s little consolation in that since there’s rarely any action taken against the officers involved in dubious shootings.

The police agencies that are on the hot seat for a dubious shooting or another act that results in the death of a civilian investigate themselves. There is almost never an independent, outside agency that will conduct a truly impartial investigation. And when the cops are hauled into a court docket for overuse of deadly force, it’s near impossible to convict.

Get the rest of this article at TheHutchinsonReport.net.




  1. We know why the Black man is dead while the White man is alive even though they both held knives in the presence of police: Black people are not given the same consideration for the same offenses/crimes as White people. Black people are considered more threatening than White people even under the same circumstances. The question is not whether they should have used deadly force against the Black man. They should not have, yet they do so with abandonment and no fear of accountability. The question is: WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? Some of us want to go through the system non-violently and wait to defund the police who we are paying to kill us. Others want to use more direct means to get justice.

    • We all know the self pitying blacks and their western privilege always blames the white while most inventions in technology, medicine, health are all done by whites.


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