Walter Wallace Jr.: Death Lead to Uprising in Philadelphia
Mental health is defined as a condition that affects someone's psychological and emotional state of mind. Mental health is an important issue everywhere because there is at least one person you know may have it.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, it states, "one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness (46.6 million in 2017). It is normal to come across people with a mental illness, and you may not even recognize it.
If one in five has a mental illness, how many people are receiving treatment? You would think that at least 50% of people who have a mental illness would receive some type of therapy. However, the NAMI explains how "46.6 million adults with AMI, 19.8 million (42.6%) received mental health services in the past year".
Why is the information on mental health important?
Photo Credits to New York Post
Walter Wallace Jr, a 27-year-old black man, was a victim of the justice system not helping people with mental illness on Monday, October 26, 2020.
Police officers received a 911 call about a person with a knife. They said he was a threat to society. Somebody recorded the scene, in which they saw people trying to tell Walter to put his knife down when the police arrived at the scene.
Water started to walk closer to the police officers, and they began to back up. Then, the police officer did not fire only one shot, but he fired multiple shots at Walter. Before you know it, Walter became another black victim of police cruelty.
There were also records to show that Walter's mom called the police to inform them of Walter's condition, as he had bipolar disorder. So, why didn't the police officer sent a specialist who could de-escalate the scene by catering to Walter's need? Why was the first approach to a mental illness is violence?
Our community will continue to suffer from mental illness because people are getting killed for their disorder instead of getting them help. Water was a victim of the corrupt justice system.
His death outraged so many people as he did not deserve to die the way he did. Along with Breonna Taylor, he deserves justice for being shot by police officers and their incompetent training.
The aftermath of Walter's Death
Once the news spread throughout the communities, it infuriated so many people about the injustice done to this young black man. He became another black man that was failed by the system.
His death was the start of another riot in Philadelphia. Nights in Philadelphia became a warzone as stores were shot up, Nation Guards standing on the streets, and police cars lined up on each block's corner.
People began looting stores, including black-owned businesses. Rioting started as the community tried to be heard and respected; however, the message lost its meaning when it targeted black-owned companies. The rioting began to hurt its people by destroying the businesses they built from scratch. The protest began to lose the reason why they were doing it: Justice for Walter.
The purpose of rioting or protesting is to come together and not tear each other down. If the world is coming to be about destroying each other, you should not want to have a part. Communities should come together and not tear each other down. We have to build each other up.
If the message is to get justice, then get it the right way and not destroy your own people's businesses. After all, Walter's family believes it is "showing disrespect."
How do you feel about everything that have been happening in the community? Do you agree or disagree about what been happening? How do you see change can happen in this situation? Can there be any change?