Newswire: David Dinkins, NYC’s first Black mayor, is dead at 93

By: Gerren Keith Gaynor, The Grio

David Dinkins

New York City lost a political giant as its first Black mayor, David Dinkins, has died, the New York Times reports.
Dinkins, 93, died at his home on Monday night in the Upper East Side in the city where he served as its 106th mayor for one term from 1990 to 1993. A home health aide discovered Dinkins was not breathing and called 911, sources told the New York Post.
Dinkins’s death comes just over a month after his wife, Joyce Dinkins, died at their home. She was 89.
New York City elected Dinkins, a Democrat who unseated three-term Mayor Ed Koch, over Republican candidate Rudy Giuliani. Dinkins inherited a city with huge deficits and high levels of crime, and yet has been credited for improving housing in Brooklyn, Harlem and the Bronx.
Still, his mayoral career was marred by what many saw as an inability to grapple with rising racial tension in the city following the 1991 Crown Heights riots, which were sparked by acts of violence between Black and Jewish residents in the Brooklyn neighborhood.

Years after his tenure as the Big Apple’s leader, Dinkins became an elder statesman beloved by New Yorkers and fellow politicians. He also consulted for former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other former mayors, even those who sought to occupy the office.
“I extend my deepest condolences to the family of Mayor David Dinkins, and to the many New Yorkers who loved and supported him,” Giuliani wrote on Twitt“He gave a great deal of his life in service to our great City. That service is respected and honored by all.”
Dinkins was a graduate of Howard University and Brooklyn Law School and was a member of the historically Black fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He leaves behind two children.

Newswire: Black health care workers suffer high rates of COVID-19 infection

By: Blackman’s Street Today

Medical team

Last year, the heath care industry employed 18.6 million workers.

The majority of those employed were White, but many were Blacks, Hispanic and Asian.

The startling news is that the pandemic is taking a disproportionate toll on health care workers, especially Black workers and their families, reports the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Black adults are more likely than White adults to know someone who has died from the coronavirus.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 26 percent of Blacks were either infected, hospitalized or died from the corornavirus.

Pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and Moderna have recently approved vaccines to treat the coronavirus. Many Blacks, however, said they would not take it.

A study reported that if the treatment were given away, many Black adults would refuse to accept the vaccine.

It is not clear why they would not take the vaccines.

Historically, Blacks are suspicious of medicines and the the medical community and are fearful that they will be harmed rather than helped. Blacks have been subjects in medical experiemnts that have had disastrous health consequences, like the 1932 Tuskegee Syphilis Study. Black male subjects were inoculated with syphilis by United States Public Health Service physicians in order to study the course of the disease. The subjects were told that they were to be given free health care.

The number of people have have died in the U.S. from the coronarvirus reached 248,824 and it continues rise.

Newswire” ‘Blessed’: Linda Thomas-Greenfield would be just second Black woman Ambassador to United Nations

Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield, right, accompanied by U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Assistant Administrator for Bureau for Democracy Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) Nancy Lindborg, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on situation in South Sudan. Thomas-Greenfield said ethnic atrocities are being committed on both sides and the government and rebel leaders need to solve their disputes through dialogue, and not fighting. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

By: Bruce C.T. Wright, Newsone


President-elect Joe Biden is already making good on his vow to have a presidential cabinet that “looks like America” by naming several people to key leadership positions within his upcoming administration. And while he’s being applauded for the racially diverse mix of choices, perhaps none was greeted as warmly as Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who was tapped to be the ambassador to the United Nations.
Biden’s announcement also made her the first Black person he selected to add to his cabinet. If her nomination is confirmed, Thomas-Greenfield would become just the second Black woman to ever be ambassador to the United Nations.
Thomas-Greenfield was among five other people who Biden signaled would lead his foreign policy and national security team: Antony Blinken for the U.S. Department of State; Alejandro Mayorkas, a Latino, for the Department of Homeland Security; Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence; Jake Sullivan as National Security Adviser; and John Kerry as special presidential envoy for climate, a new cabinet position.
Thomas-Greenfield tweeted Monday that she was “privileged” and “blessed” to have been selected by Biden.
“I’ve had the privilege to build relationships with leaders around the world for the past thirty-five years,” she tweeted. “As U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, I’ll work to restore America’s standing in the world and renew relationships with our allies. Blessed for this opportunity.”
Her tweet garnered more than 9,000 likes within the first hour that it was posted.
Thomas-Greenfield and the other people named Monday stand in stark contrast to the people Donald Trump nominated to lead his cabinet. She, like the others, has a wealth of experience in the fields of their respective departments.
She is a career diplomat who has held comparably lofty posts in the U.S. government, including serving as ambassador to Liberia, as director-general of the Foreign Service and assistant secretary for African affairs. Much of her time in leadership positions in the State Department was during President Barack Obama‘s administration.
Thomas-Greenfield was all but forced to retire in 2017 after Trump’s first Secretary of State Rex Tillerson began scaling back career diplomats at an alarming rate, firing most of the department’s senior African American diplomats in the process.
At the time, Thomas-Greenfield said she felt targeted just because she had valuable experience as a member of the State Department. “I don’t feel targeted as an African American. I feel targeted as a professional,” Thomas-Greenfield said.
There have already been four Black people to serve as ambassador to the United Nations. If Thomas-Greenfield is confirmed by a Republican-led Senate, she would become only the second Black woman to do so.
Susan Rice, who is reportedly being considered by Biden to lead the State Department, served as the ambassador to the United Nations from 2009 to 2013 before she became the national security adviser from 2013-2017.

Newswire: Everyone is counting on Black women again to go the distance in Georgia’s Senate Runoff Race

Stacey Abrams campaigning

By: Charise Frazier, Newsone

Black women have done it before and are being asked to do it again in the state of Georgia.
The ask? To help deliver votes ensuring progressive leaders win in a highly contentious Senate runoff race. On Jan. 5, Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, will face off, as will GOP Sen. David Perdue and his Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff.
The highly watched race will determine the future of the Senate and Joe Biden administration’s ability to deliver on its vow to restore the “soul of the nation,” one of the president-elect’s rallying calls during his presidential run.
“The senate race in Georgia is the difference between Kamala Harris casting tie-breaking votes in the senate or Mitch McConnell continuing to hold the country hostage,” Maurice Mitchell, national director of the Working Families Party, told NewsOne during a phone conversation Monday.
For Black Americans, that would mean a concerted effort to reform a multitude of systems that have disproportionately hindered their advancements economically, in education as well as in health, especially amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Two weeks ago, white mainstream media finally began to recognize the work and achievements of Black women organizers in Georgia like Stacey Abrams, founder of Fair Fight, Nse Ufot, leader of The New Georgia Project and LaTosha Brown, founder of Black Voters Matter. The brainpower and organized efforts among them as well as scores of unnamed on-the-ground workers helped register thousands of Black voters, contributing to a total of 1.2 million Black voters casting ballots in the Nov. 3 election. According to exit polls, 92 percent of Black women in Georgia voted for Biden.
Due to COVID-19, organizers will again rely on unconventional mobilizing efforts to build on the momentum of the last election cycle, organizing text banks, virtual events and even going door-to-door in the pandemic.
“Amazing Black women organizers are risking their lives to save our communities in a global pandemic that has killed one in one thousand Black people in America. From the pandemic or politics, Black women have consistently been on the right side and the rest of us need to follow,” Mitchell added.
Glynda Carr, the president of Higher Heights for America, the only national organization dedicated to harnessing Black women’s political power, said she had no reason to doubt history would not repeat itself.
“The creativity of Black women organizers was on full display this cycle and created a lot of innovative ways to do contact lists, voter mobilization as well as being able to gather voters virtually and I certainly anticipate that that innovation will continue to grow and stretch,” Carr told NewsOne. “They’re not only inspired by the moments of electing Warnock and Ossoff but they also have been inspired by the leadership of these activists.
But, Black women can’t continue to function as the sail on a weathered ship.  As the most reliable voting bloc, Black women invested in this election with the promise that their votes would finally warrant a return and produce action towards legislation eradicating blocked accessways to wellness without the threat of patriarchy and misogynoir, bridled under the umbrella of white supremacy.
“Democracy is a participatory activity and should not fall on one particular constituency to overperform,” Carr continued. “And I certainly believe that Black women will not only prepare to be an informed voter going into the January 5 runoff, they will also organize their networks. But I also think we’re going to be calling on our neighbors to participate in this runoff and you’re going to hear Black women going ‘Hey neighbor!’”
But Carr cautioned walk cannot be had alone.
“I certainly think that here’s another opportunity coming out of the general election where there’s obviously discussions around the participation of white women, the participation of Latinx and the participation of Black men,” Carr said. “This is definitely sparking a conversation around shared values and how we can show up for one another. I’ve seen those conversations happening and I certainly think in Georgia people will continue to create virtual spaces for those to continue as they go to not only elect the one but two senators, which is unique in itself.”

Newswire: Cash-strapped African countries face pain from foreign interest obligations

African countries face international debt 


Nov. 16, 2020 (GIN) – Foreign investors who plied African countries with huge loans despite obvious difficulties for repayment got some bad news this week.
 
The government of Zambia announced it will miss a Nov. 13 deadline to repay $42.5 million in interest to Eurobond holders after the investors rejected a six month delay sought by Zambia to pay up. This could set a precedent, lenders fear.
 
Zambia has been struggling to come up with money at a time when the risk of COVID-19 infection is high and prices for their commodities, especially oil, are low.
 
Should indebted countries default, they could find themselves unable to borrow money from international capital markets for years.
 
This year, rich nations belonging to the so-called Group of 20 or G20 devised a “Debt Service Suspension Initiative” to help the world’s poorest countries cope with the fallout of the COVID-19 crisis until the middle of next year.
 
The ‘DSSI’ offers a temporary suspension of “official sector” or government-to-government debt payment, and 43 countries have signed up so far. However, it does not cover private loans such as the Eurobonds coming due for Zambia.
 
Last month, the China Development Bank agreed to reschedule Zambia’s interest payments until April 2021. Zambia owed the bank roughly $391 million at the end of last year – about a tenth of the $3 billion it owes Chinese entities – according to the finance ministry. It was not clear whether the loan in question covers all of this debt or a fraction of it.
 
In 2018, China took possession of a valuable port in Sri Lanka and 15,000 acres when that country was unable to reschedule its debt.
 
Zambia is one of the world’s top copper producers but foreign companies own 80% of Zambia’s annual copper production. They are MCM, which is 73.1% owned by the Anglo-Swiss multinational Glencore, First Quantum Minerals of Canada which owns 16.9%, and Zambia’s mining investment arm ZCCM-IH which owns 10%.
 

Newswire: African American woman, Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber, makes US Naval Academy history

Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber, a mechanical engineering major from Illinois, has been named brigade commander for the spring semester at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
Barber, a track star with a stated desire to work as a Marine Corps ground officer, becomes the first Black woman to lead the Naval Academy’s student body.
The brigade commander heads the Academy’s day-to-day activities and trains the class of approximately 4,500 midshipmen. Barber becomes the 16th woman to serve in that role.
“Earning the title of brigade commander speaks volumes, but the title itself is not nearly as significant as the opportunity it brings to lead a team in doing something I believe will be truly special,” Barber said in a news release. “I am humbled to play a small role in this momentous season of American history.”
As a walk-on sprinter and hurdler of the Navy Women’s Varsity Track and Field team, Barber has lettered all three years of competing and is an Academy record holder for the outdoor 4x400m relay, according to her biography.
She is the co-president of the Navy Fellowship of Christian Athletes Club, secretary for the National Society of Black Engineers, and a USNA Gospel Choir and Midshipman Black Studies Club member.
Barber served as the 13th company’s executive officer and currently serves as the Brigade’s 1st regiment executive officer.
She also initiated a STEM outreach program that leverages mentoring, literature, and service lessons to serve middle school-aged girls of color.
Barber led a team to organize the inaugural U.S. Naval Academy Black Female Network Breakfast to bridge the generational gap between current black midshipmen and alumni.
Barber is recently credited with mobilizing a team of more than 180 midshipmen, faculty, and alumni to develop the Midshipman Diversity Team to promote greater diversity, inclusivity, and equity within the Brigade.
“Sydney stands out amongst her peers, for not only her exemplary record but for her clear vision of how she intends to make the world a better place and her accompanying bias for action,” said Lt. Commander Darby Yeager, a member of the U.S. Navy Academy’s Truman Scholarship Selection Committee.
“We were incredibly proud to have Sydney represent the Naval Academy in her Truman Scholarship interview this year,” Yeager added.
Janie Mines, who became the first Black woman to graduate from the Naval Academy in 1980, expressed her excitement for Barber on Twitter. “This bought me to tears. This young woman, Midshipman Sydney Barber, will be the first Black Female Brigade Commander at the U.S. Naval Academy. 40 years later. Thank you, Sydney! Love you!” Mines tweeted.

Newswire : New Coronavirus vaccine requires ‘trust’ of African American community

Doctor measures vaccine dose

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

News that Pfizer and BioNTech’s announcement that their coronavirus vaccine was more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 among those without previous infection arrives as the United States continues to realize record-breaking new cases.
For the first time on Thursday, November 12, the country surpassed 150,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day. The total number of cases soared past 10.5 million, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Both California and Texas have recorded more than 1 million total cases, while states like Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey have seen significant rises in COVID infections.
The most recent available statistics show that the District of Columbia has more than 18,500 total positive cases and 657 deaths. Washington, DC health officials have administered nearly 572,000 COVID tests to roughly 272,000 residents.
More than 242,000 people have died in the United States since the declaration of the outbreak of the pandemic in March. Health officials have expressed that the new vaccine offers real hope for the future.
“It is a great day for science and humanity. The first set of results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19,” Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO, offered in a news release.
“We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most, with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity, and economies struggling to reopen,” Dr. Bourla remarked.
He continued: “We are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis. We look forward to sharing additional efficacy and safety data generated from thousands of participants in the coming weeks.”
Pfizer has maintained a strategic partnership with the National Newspaper Publishers Association, offering insight on various rare diseases like sickle cell that disproportionately affect the African American community.
Dr. Kevin Williams, the Chief Medical Officer for Pfizer’s Rare Disease unit, periodically writes a column in the Black Press to help keep the African American community informed.
According to information posted on the CDC’s website, clinical development is a three-phase process. During Phase I, small groups of people receive the trial vaccine. In Phase II, the clinical study is expanded, and vaccine is given to people who have characteristics (such as age and physical health) similar to those for whom the new vaccine is intended. In Phase III, the vaccine is given to thousands of people and tested for efficacy and safety.
Pfizer’s vaccine is the first in the United States to generate late-stage data. An analysis of individuals that received two injections of the vaccine, spaced three weeks apart, revealed more than 90 percent fewer cases of symptomatic COVID-19 when compared to those who received the placebo.
The results are significant because health and science experts have stated that they expected a vaccine to yield an effective rate of no more than 70 percent.
In spite of this good news, many in the African American community continue to take a wait-and-see approach. “Somehow, scientific, education and community leaders must reassure a skeptical community of color that the vaccine will help and protect them,” said Gina Harper.
She created an urban garden in New York after growing up on a farm in Oklahoma. “Perhaps the best way would be to prove the point by exemplifying members of the Black community who have taken the vaccine and remained healthy,” Harper remarked.
The Pfizer vaccine clinical trial “went out of its way in their recruitment and enlarged their initial population of 30,000 to almost 44,000 to recruit more people of color,” stated Dale Yuzuki, a biotech executive and author of “COVID-19: From Chaos to Cure. The Biology Behind the Fight Against the Novel Coronavirus.”
“It is certainly a focus within the National Institutes of Health, where they are sensitized to the acute needs of minority populations and their justified suspicion of government-sponsored public health programs.”
Dr. James E.K. Hildreth, one of the world’s foremost immunologists and president and CEO of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn., is a recent appointee to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s commission that will ultimately approve the Pfizer vaccine and any others.
Hildreth, an African American, insists that any vaccine must have the confidence of Black people. “I’ve made the decision that I’m going to participate in one of the vaccine trials. The trust issue cannot be overstated,” Dr. Hildreth said.
“We have to have more trusted messengers and more trusted opinion leaders to make this work.”

Newswire: Democracy takes a beating in elections across the African continent

Democracy takes a beating in elections across the African continent


Nov. 1, 2020 (GIN) – Foul play may have been the winner in recent national elections in Tanzania, where the ruling party swept up an overwhelming majority of parliamentary seats and the leaders of both top opposition parties lost theirs.
 
Citing “seditious language”, the election commission suspended the campaign of opposition challenger Tundu Lissu. Heavily armed police blocked his entire convoy for hours as he headed to launch new offices earlier this month. In similar fashion, opposition candidate Seif Sharif Hamad was arrested on Oct. 29, soon after holding a press conference in Zanzibar.
 
Zitto Kabwe, a leader of Hamad’s ACT-Wazalendo party, complained on Twitter: “Police have arrested the whole ACT leadership and one of the leaders was beaten to near death. We are not sure if he is still alive and he is in custody.”
 
With almost all votes counted, President John Magufuli of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi party is claiming victory with 12.5 million out of 15 million votes cast while candidate Lissu of the Chadema party chalked up only 1.9 million.
 
“We’re calling for fresh elections and the disbandment of the electoral commissions that participated in the fraudulent elections”, Lissu told the Financial Times. Tanzania Elections Watch, a regional whistleblower, called the election “the most significant backsliding in Tanzania’s democratic credentials.”
 
Tanzanian lawyer and Magufuli critic Fatma Karume tweeted that Thursday was the president’s birthday. “He is going to get the present he has always wanted: No opposition in #Tanzania,” she said.
 
In another heavily contested election, Guinea’s electoral commission declared incumbent President Alpha Conde the winner of last week’s presidential election with 59 percent of the vote. Restrictions on internet and phone usage had sparked violence that led to the deaths of nearly two dozen people.
 
In Guinea’s neighbor to the south, President Alassane Ouattara has claimed victory despite weeks of street clashes over the president’s bid for a third term. Ouattara won all 20 of the districts announced by the electoral commission with results from the other 88 districts expected shortly.
 
Christopher Fomunyoh, a Cameroonian scholar with the Washington-based National Democratic Institute, opined grimly: “Democratic trends have reversed and there are now fewer democracies in Africa than 20 years ago… Many countries in Africa are falling short in their efforts to consolidate constitutional rule as to presidential term limits, laws on elections, civic space and political party activity.”
 

Newswire : Dave Roberts becomes second Black manager to win the World Series

Dave Roberts, Manager LA Dodgers

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the champions of baseball in large part because of a masterful managerial job by Dave Roberts, who becomes just the second African American skipper to win the World Series.
The Dodgers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 in Game 6 at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, the first-time Major League Baseball held the Fall Classic at a neutral site.
“It feels great,” proclaimed Roberts, who joined Cito Gaston of the Toronto Blue Jays as the only Black managers to lead their team to a world championship. Gaston’s Blue Jays won back-to-back titles in 1992 and 1993.
The title is the seventh in franchise history for the Dodgers and first since 1988. It marked the second celebration in less than a month for a Los Angeles professional sports team – the Lakers defeated the Miami Heat on October 11 to win the NBA championship.
The victory also comes 33 years after then-Dodgers General Manager Al Campanis appeared in a controversial and racially-charged interview on ABC News’ “Nightline” with Ted Koppel.
During the mostly forgettable 1987 broadcast, Campanis infamously told a live audience why he believed African Americans couldn’t succeed in managing a Major League Baseball team.
“No, I don’t believe it’s prejudice,” Campanis blasted when Koppel asked the reason for the lack of African American managers in baseball. “I truly believe that they may not have some of the necessities to be, let’s say, a field manager, or perhaps a general manager.”
When Koppel responded by questioning whether Campanis believed that, the Dodgers’ boss didn’t relent. “Well, I don’t say that all of them, but they certainly are short. How many quarterbacks do you have? How many pitchers do you have that are black?” Campanis demanded.
To his credit, Koppel shot back: “I gotta tell you, that sounds like the same kind of garbage. That really sounds like garbage, if – if you’ll forgive me for saying so.”
Unrelenting, Campanis volleyed: “No, it’s not garbage, Mr. Koppel, because I played on a college team, and the center fielder was Black, and the backfield at NYU, with a fullback who was Black, never knew the difference, whether he was Black or white, we were teammates. So, it just might be – why are Black men, or Black people, not good swimmers? Because they don’t have the buoyancy.”
Roberts, like Gaston before him, proved his so-called buoyancy. With a deft-touch, Roberts guided the Dodgers from a 2-0 and 3-1 deficit in the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves.
Just 14 teams out of 89 in baseball history have come back to win a best-of-seven series after dropping three of the first four games.
Since 1992, 11 Black men have managed Major League Baseball teams, including Dusty Baker, who came out of retirement this year to manage the Houston Astros to the American League Championship Series.
Roberts’ success is already legendary. Since he took over the Dodgers in 2016, he’s guided the team to three National League Championships. Now, he’s delivered the ultimate prize, defeating the relentless and talented Rays in just six games.
Roberts has compiled an impressive 436-273 won-loss record for a Hall-of-Fame like .615 winning percentage.
After a COVID-shortened but challenging 60-game regular season and an extra playoff round that culminated into a world championship, Roberts said he’ll let it all sink in. “It means a lot for me personally, of course,” Roberts exclaimed as his players doused him and each other with champagne.
“But for the Dodgers organization, the franchise where they’ve always been forward-thinking and groundbreaking as far as race and color barriers,” Roberts continued.
“So, for the Dodgers and for me to be the manager of this ball club to bring a championship back to Los Angeles, I think it’s well beyond bigger than

Newswire : Police kill yet another Black man as people cast final votes Nov. 3

By Hazel Trice Edney

The 6100 block of Locust Street in west Philadelphia’s neighborhood where Walter Wallace was shot and killed by police Monday (photo by Kimberly Paynter, WHYY)


TriceEdneyWire.com) – As President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden campaign in key states in final days of the 2020 presidential race, yet another Black man was shot and killed by police Monday afternoon, Oct. 26.
The Philadelphia police shooting of 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr., a reportedly mentally ill man holding a knife as his mother tried to calm him down when the police arrived on the scene, is the latest of a string of police killings of Black people that had already risen as a major campaign issue. The family had reportedly called emergency for an ambulance for Wallace – not police.
In a video taken by a by-stander, Wallace appears to be agitatedly walking around and then toward two police officers who were screaming, “Put the knife down!” Wallace walked toward the police; then collapsed in a hail of bullets.
A woman can be heard wailing with shock and grief. A man can be heard saying, “They just killed him in front of me…Y’all ain’t have to give him that many shots.”
Protests broke out immediately as citizens ran toward the dying man and the police in shock and anger.
Wallace’s father, Walter Wallace Sr., in a CNN interview, pleaded for the violence to stop, saying “It will leave a bad scar on my son with all this looting and chaos…This is where we live, and it’s the only community resource we have, and if we take all the resource and burn it down, we don’t have anything.”
Local TV stations showed both looters and protesters in the streets daily. The Pennsylvania National Guard was called in by Gov. Tom Wolf as police continued to clash with protestors. Mayor Jim Kenney has promised a full investigation. “I have watched the video of this tragic incident,” Kenney said in a statement. “And it presents difficult questions that must be answered.”
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said there would be a release of more information in a few days. Outlaw said the officers who killed Wallace were not carrying stun guns. They have not explained why the police did not try to restrain the mentally ill man in another way.
Repeated police killings of Black people have already been a strong issue in the presidential campaign. The most recent controversial killings have been of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn., Brianna Taylor in Louisville, Ken., and Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta.
“Our hearts are broken for the family of Walter Wallace Jr., and for all those suffering the emotional weight of learning about another Black life in America lost,” said a statement issued by Biden and vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris. “We cannot accept that in this country a mental health crisis ends in death. It makes the shock and grief and violence of yesterday’s shooting that much more painful, especially for a community that has already endured so much trauma. Walter Wallace’s life, like too many others’, was a Black life that mattered — to his mother, to his family, to his community, to all of us.”
Biden and Harris also walked the fine line of scolding violent and unlawful protestors.
“At the same time, no amount of anger at the very real injustices in our society excuses violence. Attacking police officers and vandalizing small businesses, which are already struggling during a pandemic, does not bend the moral arc of the universe closer to justice. It hurts our fellow citizens,” they said. “Looting is not a protest; it is a crime. It draws attention away from the real tragedy of a life cut short. As a nation, we are strong enough to both meet the challenges of real police reform, including implementing a national use of force standard, and to maintain peace and security in our communities. That must be our American mission. That is how we will deliver real justice. All Donald Trump does is fan the flames of division in our society. He is incapable of doing the real work to bring people together.”
A Trump Administration statement issued by Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany leaned to the comfort of the police and blamed Democrats for the chaotic reactions.
“The riots in Philadelphia are the most recent consequence of the Liberal Democrats’ war against the police,” the White House statement said. “Law enforcement is an incredibly dangerous occupation, and thousands of officers have given their lives in the line of duty.  All lethal force incidents must be fully investigated.  The facts must be followed wherever they lead to ensure fair and just results.  In America, we resolve conflicts through the courts and the justice system.  We can never allow mob rule.  The Trump Administration stands proudly with law enforcement, and stands ready, upon request, to deploy any and all Federal resources to end these riots.”
Meanwhile, church organizations, civil rights groups and activists around the country have for months galvanized get out to vote efforts with a large focus on police reform because of the out of control police shootings, the Coronavirus pandemic, health care, economic justice and other issues of racial inequality.
The release also said that Bishop Barber is “among more than 1,000 clergy members, religious scholars and other faith-based advocates who signed a unique statement supporting a comprehensive path to a ‘fair and free election’ and urging leaders to accept the ‘legitimate election results’ regardless of the winner in November.”