The Philadelphia police precinct went under fire on Monday night hours after police shot and killed a local Black man. The victim was revealed to be 27-year old Walter Wallace Jr. A video of the incident went viral and occurred Monday afternoon when Police received a call about a man with a knife.
What We Know:
- Sergeant Eric Gripp, a Philadelphia police spokesman, stated that “responding officers witnessed a male on the block. Immediately they noticed he had a knife in his possession and he was brandishing it and waiving it erratically.”
- Police allegedly ordered Wallace to surrender his weapons and come forward slowly. Wallace’s mother later attempts to intervene by grabbing her son. The moment he broke away and headed straight towards police, they opened fire. The result was considerable injuries in the shoulder and chest areas and the victim later passed away at a nearby hospital because of them.
- The outcry of yet another mishandled police incident involving a man of color has sparked new and ongoing protests. An officer was struck by a pickup truck early Tuesday. A 56-year-old female officer was later taken to a hospital with a broken leg and other injuries, according to Gripp.
- Police reported about 29 officers that have been hospitalized at this point due to being struck by projectiles such as bricks and rocks. They also stated that they have made around 30 arrests and have had reports of looting and vandalism throughout the city, including law enforcement vehicles.
- In response to the recent unrest, the White House has said they would be ready to give federal assistance, according to White House communications director Alyssa Farah. “We’re monitoring the situation closely. If necessary, we’ll be standing by and prepared to deploy federal resources, if necessary,” Farah said on Tuesday.
- Walter Wallace Sr., the victim’s father, questioned why officers used deadly force. “Why didn’t they use a Taser?” he asked. “His mother was trying to defuse the situation.” Wallace Sr. made it clear that his son has known mental health issues and had medication for it. “Why you have to gun him down?”
The identities of the officers involved have not been revealed as of late and they were also taken off duty amid a future investigation into the matter. “I have watched the video of this tragic incident and it presents difficult questions that must be answered. I spoke tonight with Mr. Wallace’s family and will continue to reach out to hear their concerns first-hand,” said Mayor Jim Kenney in a statement.
Texas GOP Chairman Steps Down After Sharing Racist MLK Post
Keith Nielsen the chair-elect for the Republican Party in Houston, Texas, Harris County has resigned after racist posts referring to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr as a monkey on social media.
What We Know:
- Nielsen’s resignation comes less than four months on the job. The Texas Tribune reported Nielsen was heavily criticized for posting a meme on Facebook, which took MLK’s popular quote, “Injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere,” juxtaposed with a banana earlier this year.
- After the controversy, Nielson was advised by many high-ranking Republicans in Texas to drop out of the race for office. He continued his pursuit and defeated former party chairman Paul Simpson in March.
- After his victory, Nielson announced on Facebook he would not take office in August days after defending his racial post.
“I have spent my entire adult life supporting conservative candidates and causes and I am grateful for the thousands of supporters who have reached out to me over the last several days.” Nielsen continued, “I regret that I must step aside as Chairman-elect of the Harris County Republican Party and will not be taking office on Aug. 3rd.”
- Nielson continued to hold his position as Chairman well past August and officially quit on his own terms on November 30.
- Nielson was one of several Texas GOP members to post racial remarks in correlation to protests that were prevalent in the state around the time.
The local party’s executive committee will be meeting to pick the new chairman.
28-Year-Old Identified After Being Found Dead in Car Trunk Following Police Chase
The 28-year-old woman who was found dead in a car trunk in Texas has been identified as Briana Johnson. Victor Campbell, the driver, has been arrested and currently sits behind bars at the Jefferson County Jail.
What We Know:
- The body of a 28-year-old woman was found in the trunk of a car after it crashed during a police chase in Texas, authorities said. Victor Cambell was pulled over by police officers around 8 am on Saturday. He didn’t stop, which led to a car chase until he later crashed.
- According to the NY Post, the police first spotted the vehicle speeding around 7:45 a.m. and pulled it over in Beaumont, about 85 miles east of Houston. But the driver, Victor Campbell Jr., allegedly zoomed off, leading the troopers on a chase that ended when he crashed near the parking lot of a church thrift shop.
- Campbell, who’s previously been charged with family violence, was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries following the crash and later booked into Jefferson County jail. The 35-year-old now faces charges for felony evading arrest, driving while intoxicated, tampering with evidence, and abusing a corpse. Additional charges may be added, police said. A cause of death hasn’t been released yet, but an autopsy has been ordered.
- On Sunday, several Houston police officers searched a home in the area that is believed to be connected to her death, based on the evidence found at the crime scene in Beaumont. The investigation is still ongoing. The family of Johnson has set up a GoFundMe account to go toward funeral expenses. Her hometown is in Fresno, California, and her family is hoping and wanting to take her body back there.
- Some of her friends spoke out about her sudden and mysterious death. Former classmate Tiffany Goodman spoke with 12 News, remembering Johnson. “It just doesn’t seem that this type of incident would happen to her. To be found in a trunk of a car, it was just so heartbreaking”. The two of them attended college together at TSU in Houston and crossed paths multiple times. She described Johnson as a person with confidence that cared deeply for others.
Her loss deeply saddens her family and friends. This is a developing story, and more news is to come.
Lewis Hamilton Crowned GQ’s Game Changer of The Year
Formula One racing star Lewis Hamilton has been named GQ’s Game Changer of the Year. The sporting hero will be honored at the annual GQ Men of The Year Awards ceremony, which is going virtual for the first time this year (20) amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
What We Know:
- As of Dec 1st, the seven-time F1 champion has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the Sakhir Grand Prix. The Mercedes team released a statement on Tuesday, November 24th that Hamilton was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time. The last time he was tested was on Sunday, November 29, at the Bahrain International Circuit.
- In a recent interview with GQ, Hamilton spoke about his experiences with racism when he was younger. “I started experiencing racism when I was five, and people looked upon it so lightly when someone would throw out these words, the bullying, and the beatings and the intimidation.”
- The 35-year-old sportsman has vowed to continue to stand up for others, and big causes after racing stars were effectively banned from wearing T-shirts with political statements after he decided to raise awareness of the Breanna Taylor case during the Tuscan Grand Prix.
- In the January/February 2021 issue of GQ, he added: “If I believe it is important enough, I will. I will do it again…Every weekend that I arrive, we have the spotlight on us, and every weekend there is an opportunity to raise awareness. We don’t live in a time when everything is OK.
The GQ Men of the Year Awards 2020 took place on November 26th at 8 pm GMT.
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