Walter Wallace protests in Brooklyn erupt into riots, looting

The death of Wallace Jr., a Black man shot and killed by police in Philadelphia sparked the Brooklyn protests

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
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Mike Marza reports on the protests over the death of Walter Wallace Jr. turned violent in Brooklyn Tuesday night, resulting in more than two dozen arrests, a police officer hurt and multiple police vehicles damaged.

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN (WABC) -- Protests over the death of Walter Wallace Jr. turned violent in Brooklyn Tuesday night, resulting in more than two dozen arrests, multiple officers hurt and damaged police vehicles.

The protests were sparked by the death of Wallace Jr., a Black man shot and killed by police in Philadelphia on Monday.

WATCH: Video shows protesters clashing with NYPD and an arrest

The protests in Downtown Brooklyn quickly turned violent, as protesters broke the windows of businesses, mostly stores and banks, and started small fires in garbage cans.

The NYPD announced 27 arrests and five summonses were issued.

Police say when the protesters made it to Lower Manhattan, one individual was arrested for repeatedly elbowing a police officer attempting to arrest the 22-year-old female for spraying graffiti on the David N. Dinkins Manhattan Municipal Building at 1 Centre Street.

Five officers were injured and nine NYPD vehicles were damaged, mostly with broken windows and graffiti. 39 commercial properties were also vandalized.

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One officer was treated for an arm and leg injury after a car sped off from a group of officers on Atlantic Avenue near Boerum Place.

In the wake of the violence, and with election night fast approaching, it is now all hands on deck at the NYPD, according to Police Commissioner Dermot Shea.

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"We've been planning for this for months now, knowing this election is coming up," he said earlier Tuesday night. "We have a large contingency of officers on standby, as well as deployed throughout the city in uniform. You will see them all over. The advice is... hopefully there's been relationships developed, too. Any business owners, the key is communication with local precinct staff and commanding affairs."

Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday morning that he had not yet gotten a full report on the situation from Commissioner Shea.

When asked if the situation in Brooklyn Tuesday night compared to that of the one in early June with the George Floyd protests, he said in that case "The overall reality was peaceful protest that was managed and facilitated by the NYPD."

The mayor added that violence against people, property and fire setting is unacceptable.

"I want to make clear no violence is acceptable. Violence towards individuals, citizens, violence against police officers, absolutely unacceptable, violence against property unacceptable, fires unacceptable. Of course those violations should be prosecuted, I absolutely want to see those prosecutions. We just need to remind people if you have issues you want to raise, you can do that anytime with peaceful protest, but you cannot use violence," he said.

Downtown Brooklyn businesses will start boarding up their windows again following Tuesday night's protests, according to Partnership for New York City President and CEO Kathryn Wylde.

"I just got a whole series of photos and information from the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce that did a street tour down there, and in fact, businesses are boarding up," Wylde said. "A lot of windows and doors were broken open and there was graffiti that was very anti-capitalism graffiti. So it doesn't make business feel good about reopening, I'll tell you that.

I think that's a negative when business owners see the kind of destruction we saw last night in Downtown Brooklyn and again, discouraging police from active enforcement of the law. That's not really helpful to reopening our economy, and I think the focus of attention of the city and the mayor should be on what are we going to do to solve that problem as the first step of being able to reopen small business."

The Brooklyn violence unfolded as protests, looting and vandalism in Philadelphia continued for a second night, resulting in dozens of arrests.


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