Who is Danielle Outlaw? Philadelphia police commissioner says more cops will be deployed for Walter Wallace protests

Many protesters took to the streets on October 26 night as a result of 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr death, damaging businesses and confronting cops who responded with riot gear


                            Who is Danielle Outlaw? Philadelphia police commissioner says more cops will be deployed for Walter Wallace protests
(Philadelphia Police Department/www.phillypolice.com)

Philadelphia officials publicly addressed the police shooting of 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr for the first time on Tuesday, as well as offered new details about the investigation into the fatal incident. As reported by Philly Voice, Wallace Jr's death led to a wave of civil unrest and looting overnight. Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said, “We will increase our officer presence around the city at key locations. Roving and static officer details that are part of the looting response will also be deployed to commercial districts in other key locations throughout the city.”

On Monday, October 26, afternoon Wallace Jr was allegedly shot dead on a Philadelphia street. The shooting occurred before 4 pm as officers responded to a report of a person with a weapon, police Sgt Eric Gripp said. As per the spokesperson, cops were called to the Cobbs Creek neighborhood and encountered the man.

Officers ordered Wallace to drop the knife, but he instead “advanced towards” them. Both officers then fired “several times,” police spokesperson Tanya Little said. Reportedly, Wallace was hit in the shoulder and chest. One of the officers then put him in a police vehicle and drove him to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead a short time later, Little said. As per a Philadelphia Inquirer report, Gripp said investigators are reviewing footage of what happened. Both officers were wearing body cameras.

Outlaw said, according to Philly Voice, “There are many questions that demand answers. Residents have my assurance that those questions will be fully addressed by the investigation. While at the scene last night, the anger and sadness of the community was not lost upon me. Everyone involved, including the officers, will forever be impacted by this tragedy.”

The police department's Officer-Involved Shooting investigation unit, along with the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, are carrying out a detailed examination of the incident. Outlaw did not discuss any details regarding when and whether the department will identify the officers involved in the shooting or release body-cam footage from the incident, due to department protocols. Wallace’s family has claimed that he was experiencing a mental health crisis.

Many protesters took to the streets on October 26 night as a result of Wallace’s death, damaging businesses and confronting the police who responded to the area with riot gear. The report says a total of 91 arrests were made in connection with the unrest — including three code violation notices, 11 assaults on police and 76 arrests for commercial burglary. The disorder was mostly concentrated on the 52nd Street corridor and in the area of 55th and Pine Streets, though businesses on at least eight different corridors were impacted. Thirty police officers suffered injuries, mostly cuts and bruises caused by bricks, rocks and other debris thrown at them. Eight police vehicles and one EMT truck were vandalized, Outlaw said.

More unrest is anticipated and officials have not ruled out the possibility of federal assistance, including the National Guard, which had already been in consideration for deployment for the November 3 election. “We will increase our officer presence around the city at key locations. Roving and static officer details that are part of the looting response will also be deployed to commercial districts in other key locations throughout the city.”

Who is Danielle Outlaw?

She became Commissioner for the Philadelphia Police Department in February 2020. Previously, she served as chief of police for the Portland Police Bureau, in Oregon. She was appointed by mayor Ted Wheeler in 2017 and was the first African American woman to head the bureau in Portland. In a 2017 interview with The Oregonian,  she had said, ‘Quite frankly I didn't grow up with a positive image of police in my mind.” At 14, when she was studying at Holy Names High School in Oakland, she went on a two-week "career exploration'' at the Oakland Police Department.
A follow-up visit to the school by an Oakland police explorer intrigued her interests. She thought that as a police explorer she'd get to wear a "cool uniform,'' help out with fingerprinting and crowd control and work at the popular Festival at the Lake event that she liked. She worked as a paid cadet for Oakland police during her last year studying sociology at the University of San Francisco. In 1999, she was hired full time by Oakland police.

Her father had concerns regarding her career choice. She remembered on the second day of her police training academy was family day and her father stood up and said, “I don't think this is a good job for my daughter. I think it's a waste of a degree and she could be doing other things.” She said, “It motivates me even more if somebody tells me I can't do it. Oh, oh OK, watch this.”

People on twitter were discussing the events as well. One said, “The fact that Walter Wallace was not in the right mental state (most likely dissociated) is literally so heartbreaking. Instead of coaxing him out of that state he was murdered. To be Black in this country is a death sentence now throw a mental illness on top of that...”  Another concurred, “Walter Wallace Jr. would still be alive if we prioritized mental health professionals in the way we prioritize protectors of property.” One stated, “Did #Philadelphia actually think that their new Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, previously of Portland, OR where she had zero success, really knew how to deal with Antifa and BLM in a much larger city ??” One alleged, “This is Frank Rizzo. He was Philly’s police commissioner and mayor. Tough as nails and most respected. And feared. By the bad guys. He’s rolling over in his grave right now as the world observed Philadelphia cops backing down to BLM and Antifa. This is unbelievable. Shocking.”

 



 

 



 

 



 

 



 

 

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