Two days after his son was shot and killed in an armed confrontation with law enforcement, Walter Wallace Sr. addressed audiences on Tuesday, calling for peace and a stop to violence in Philadelphia.
Wallace and his family, accompanied by their lawyer, Shaka Johnson, held a short press conference outside their home.
“Have some respect for my family and my son and stop this violence and chaos that’s going on in this city,” Wallace told reporters.
“I don’t know what’s going on and I hope people show my family and this city some kind of respect… I don’t have time to loot, burn up. The people who are doing that are setting a bad example. They aren’t helping me and my family—they’re showing disrespect. They’re making it look like we’re animals and we’re not.”
Wallace stated that this kind of looting did nothing to help the situation, but instead further damaged the image of city and its residents. He was asked about his son's mental illness, and said that the whole of society is suffering from mental illness during this pandemic.
Wallace's father and mother grieve the loss of their son and lament the civil unrest. Wallace's father had said that police should have used a non-lethal method of restraining his Wallace Jr., but has not expressed interest in participating in grievances against the Philadelphia police.
He hopes that his experiences—and those of his son’s—will not be repeated. Wallace's mother spoke too, about having asked police not to shoot her son. Wallace's children spoke about how much they loved their father and how kind he was.
“I mean how would you feel? That’s not something I would want any parent in life to experience what I’m going through,” the senior Wallace said.
For a second night in a row, Philadelphia streets were filled with protestors, leaving behind looted businesses and small fires across the city. There were no further injuries to police officers on Tuesday evening, but damages against commercial buildings continued all throughout the night as hundreds of people ransacked stores.
Helicopter footage from Channel 6 News captured images of looters running in and out of businesses like Foot Locker, Target, Walmart, and Dollar General, carrying goods in their hands as they escaped the scene.