After the shooting of knife-wielding Walter Wallace, Jr. by police, residents in many sections of Philadelphia started rioting, looting, burning, and assaulting police officers Monday evening. The most egregious event was a truck plowed through a line of cops and struck a 56-year old female officer, shattering her femur. At that age, and considering her injuries, she will likely never return to work.
Tuesday night was grand. We had riots, lootings, burnings, and over thirty officers assaulted with bottles, rocks, and bricks. At one point, the mob descended on a neighborhood’s five-block long set of strip malls, and took most everything in every store. At one point, a supervisor stated his group “lost the block” and asked radio what were the upper echelon officers’ orders.
The supervisor was becoming agitated because he officers were being assaulted and no one from the command staff would tell him to retreat. Eventually, the supervisor went over the air and said, “Will you make a fucking decision?!!” Moments later, a Deputy Commissioner told the supervisor to “hold the line.”
The supervisor, who I worked with and know fairly well, replied, “We’re pulling back.” I’m surprised he didn’t tell the Deputy to f**k right off…
The other problem is our commissioner implemented a new rule that states when an officer uses and form of force, a supervisor must go over radio and give the officer’s badge number and the use of force. On Tuesday night the radio was non-stop calls for burglaries, looting, fires, etc., but officers couldn’t get through because bosses kept giving out numbers for uses of force. People were calling for assists, but they had to wait until the dimwit bosses would get off the air.
Wednesday was more of the same, but it was slightly more subdued thanks to early rains. We’re still getting all the usual riotous calls, but it’s slightly better than Tuesday evening. For the record, I am bringing my two extra mags with me to work now, because the air is thick with lead.
Neither the mayor, the police commissioner, or the D.A. have our backs, just like they didn’t have our backs in May and June. The city knew full well there would be riots after the shooting, and, like in May and June, they did nothing to prepare for this. There were no orders, no directives, and no real plan. Like the George Floyd riots, our “betters” thought they could just make plans on the fly.
They were wrong. Again.