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.”

Newswire : Democrats, Black candidates win historic victories on election night

By Stacy M. Brown (NNPA Newswire Contributor)

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Melvin Carter was elected the first Black mayor of St. Paul, Minn., on Tuesday night, Nov. 7, 2017. (Screenshot/MelvinCarter.org)
The blue wave that swept the country last week wasn’t just a victory for Democrats, but a resounding win for African American candidates, who defied the odds—and Trumpism—to make history.
In Charlotte, N.C., voters elected the first female African American mayor in the city’s history, choosing Democrat Vi Lyles over Republican Kenny Smith.
In St. Paul, Minn., Melvin Carter became that city’s first Black mayor, earning slightly more than 50 percent of the vote in a field that featured 10 candidates and a write-in opponent.
In Virginia, Democrat Justin Fairfax trounced Republican challenger Jill Vogel in the race for lieutenant governor. In January, Fairfax will become only the second African American to hold statewide office in Virginia. Doug Wilder was the first, serving as lieutenant governor from 1986-1990, then as governor from 1990-1994.
Fairfax said his and other Democratic victories could “be the match that sparks the wildfire of progressive” change all across the country.“All across the world. This is a battle for the nation’s soul,” Fairfax said. “Since I announced my candidacy, this campaign has been about the future, about building a Virginia where all of us have the opportunity to rise.”
Most saw victories by Democrats as a referendum on President Donald Trump, whose record low job approval rating has shrunk to 39 percent according to various reports.
Republicans lost races for governor in Virginia, where Ralph Northam easily beat Trump-backed Ed Gillespie, and in New Jersey, where former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Phil Murphy won election as governor, defeating Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.
Also, in Virginia, attorney general Mark Herring, a Democrat, won reelection over Republican John Adams while Democrats gained at least 10 seats in the House of Delegates.
The party also won key mayoral races in New York, Charlotte, Stamford, Conn., and St. Petersburg and, in a direct rebuke of Trump and Republicans who have tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act, voters in Maine approved a ballot measure to expand Medicaid under former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law.
On Twitter University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato wrote that the results were a “backlash to Trump and Trumpism, pure and simple.”
Results may have been helped by a strong get out to vote campaign launched by the NAACP. The legendary civil rights organization and its approximately 500,000 adult and youth members around the country were on the frontlines committed to raising awareness for political, educational, social and economic equality of minorities in the electoral process, the organization said in a statement posted on its website.
“The NAACP is actively engaged in increasing the African American responsiveness of citizens to be fully engaged in the democratic process,” the statement read.
Terry McAuliffe, Virginia’s outgoing Democratic governor, told reporters that the election night victories were indeed a springboard for future elections, including the 2020 presidential race.
“This was a spark plug,” McAuliffe said. “This is the revitalization of the Democratic Party in America.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden said voters clearly sent a message to Trump. “A resounding defeat tonight for President Trump,” Biden tweeted. “Voters across the country rejected the ugly politics we have seen this past year. Instead, they chose candidates who unite and inspire us.”
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus also engaged voters. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), urged everyone to vote. “The vote is precious, almost sacred,” Lewis said. “It is the most powerful nonviolent tool or instrument in a democratic society [so] use it.”
And, if that admonition wasn’t enough, the legendary civil rights leader reminded voters why participating is so important. “I was beaten, left bloody and unconscious so that every American has the right to vote,” Lewis said. “Friends of mine gave their lives. Do your part. Vote.”

Newswire : Black police executives reject Trump’s encouragement to rough up suspects

By Hazel Trice Edney

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Assistant Police Chief Perry Tarrant, surrounded by members of NOBLE. PHOTO: NOBLE website.
(TriceEdneyWire.com) – The Nation’s premier association of Black police executives – convening in Atlanta this week – has responded to rogue statements made by President Donald Trump encouraging police officers to “please, don’t be too nice” to suspects being arrested for violent crimes.
Speaking to law enforcement officials in Ronkonkoma, N. Y. about the brutal MS-13 gang, Trump said, “And when you see these towns and when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon — you just see them thrown in, rough – I said, please don’t be too nice. Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over? Like, don’t hit their head and they’ve just killed somebody – don’t hit their head. I said, you can take the hand away, okay?”
Many of the officers laughed and even applauded the comments. The White House has since attempted to downplay the statements claiming the President was only joking. But, his words caused chills for those recalling the string of police brutality cases across the nation that resulted in the deaths of Black people. Those cases include that of Baltimore’s Freddie Gray who died after a police paddy wagon ride that somehow led to a broken neck two years ago. The Freddie Gray case resulted in an uprising that included fires, millions of dollars in property damage and hundreds of arrests.
In a statement issued to the Trice Edney News Wire, Perry Tarrant, president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), reasserted principles to which all police officers must adhere when making an arrest – regardless of the charge.
“As NOBLE convenes its 41st Annual Training Conference in Atlanta, it reminds the nation of one of the bedrock’s of our democracy, equal protection under the law. All law enforcement officers play a critical role in determining the appropriate levels of use of force as they police communities across this nation,” Tarrant said. “As NOBLE continues its efforts to build one community (law enforcement is part of the community), we must always be vigilant in ensuring that the human rights of those in custody and/or suspected of crimes are protected.”
Trump’s statement was made during a season in which the clearly unwarranted killings of Black people by police have wreaked havoc across the nation. Mike Brown of Ferguson, Mo., Philando Castile of Falcon Heights, Minn., Eric Garner of Staton Island, N.Y., and Tamir Rice of Cleveland, Ohio are just a few of the dead who have become iconic cases for police brutality in America.
Tarrant, elected NOBLE president last year, is well acquainted with the historic conflicts between police and the Black community. Upon his rise to the NOBLE presidency last year, he cited the need for trust and conversation between police and community.
Tarrant currently serves as assistant chief of the Special Operations Bureau for the Seattle Police Department. He spent 34 years with the Tucson, Ariz., Police Department, where he worked in patrol, the K-9 unit, SWAT team, bomb squad, aviation and internal affairs.
For 41 years, NOBLE has described itself as “the conscience of law enforcement by being committed to justice by action.” The organization represents “3,000 members internationally, who are primarily African-American chief executive officers of law enforcement agencies at federal, state, county and municipal levels, other law enforcement administrators, and criminal justice practitioners.”
In addition to NOBLE, a string of police bureaus and organizations across the nation publicly distanced themselves from the statements by Trump.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) also issued a statement saying, “Managing use of force is one of the most difficult challenges faced by law enforcement agencies. The ability of law enforcement officers to enforce the law, protect the public, and guard their own safety, the safety of innocent bystanders, and even those suspected or apprehended for criminal activity is very challenging. For these reasons, law enforcement agencies develop policies and procedures, as well as conduct extensive training, to ensure that any use of force is carefully applied and objectively reasonable considering the situation confronted by the officers.
The IACP concluded, “Law enforcement officers are trained to treat all individuals, whether they are a complainant, suspect, or defendant, with dignity and respect. This is the bedrock principle behind the concepts of procedural justice and police legitimacy.