Black lives matter protest in America has regained momentum after the police killing of a 27-year-old black man in Philadelphia on Monday evening. Widespread protests in the city have left over 30 officers injured. Police have so far arrested dozens of protesters.
Any racial link in the incident is not established till now. The killing took place in a Black suburb of Philadelphia. The incident can have a direct bearing on presidential polls. Last week, Barack Obama campaigned for Biden in Philadelphia to launch a sharp attack against Trump. The city of Philadelphia is critical to the presidential race in Pennsylvania, which is a major battleground state.
Multiple firings on the 27-year-old
The victim is identified as Walter Wallace. A video posted on social media by a bystander shows that two police officers aimed their guns towards Wallace. He was moving around cars and then started approaching the police officers. They first stepped back and shouted at Wallace to throw his knife. As he further moved forward, police officers fired multiple times, shooting him at chest and shoulders.
It is not clear from the video if the man was holding a knife but witnesses confirmed that he had one. The father of the deceased told local news reporters that his son was not in good mental condition. He resented that why police did not use a taser.
The policemen immediately rushed the man to hospital but he died before reaching there. No other person was injured in the confrontation.
Protests in Philadelphia
Hundreds of people took on to streets in Philadelphia a day after the incident. Thirty officers were injured as the protest took a violent turn. Most of the injuries to police officers occurred due to stone and brick pelting. One of the officers broke her leg after running into a pickup truck. His condition was stable. Other injured officers were also released from the hospital.
Police faced difficulties in controlling the protests. Police vehicle and dumpsters were set ablaze by protesters. A string of officers chased down the protesters from the prime location of the protest in 52nd Street. The crowd was dispersed thereafter.
City Police Commissioner, Danielle Outlaw arrived at the crime scene shortly after the killing. He said that he felt the anger of the protesting community. Outlaw also said that social media video raised many questions. These questions will be answered only after investigation. The killing has the potential to spark more widespread protest on the lines of racial killings in the middle of this year.
Is there a racial angle?
The racial angle is not yet established in the present case. The deceased was a Black young man who was on medication and was facing mental complications. He belonged to the black neighbourhood in western Philadelphia.
But the race of police officers who fired at the man was not confirmed immediately. Local newspapers reported that many people gathered at a park and staged a protest. They shouted slogans on Black lives matter. The issue becomes highly sophisticated in the run-up to presidential elections.
Possible political ramifications of the killing
Racial discrimination and police killings have been a burning issue against the incumbent President, Donald Trump. If the Monday killing is an act of racial killing or if it is given the political colour, then America may see another round of vigorous protests.
Trump even refused to condemn the notorious white supremacy group named Proud Boys in his first presidential debate. Democrats have a case against the Trump administration. Recent killings of Breonna Taylor and George Flyod have shaken America. Blacks constitute a significant proportion of the United States population. Their cause is duly supported by many White people also.
Democrats have tapped the nerve of these groups against Donald Trump. Biden’s nomination of Kamala Harris as his running mate was a statement in action. He also fielded Barack Obama, the Black icon in Philadelphia this week. Any protest over the issue will make the chances of Trump grimmer in election.