Yesterday, at about 3:00PM, West Philadelphia police shot and killed a Black man, Walter Wallace Jr., who, we are told, ignored police officers’ warnings and their drawn guns, and came at them with a knife.

Last night there were riots in West Philadelphia, presumably over the killing of Mr. Wallace Jr. – complete with vandalism and looting.

I will wait to find out more about the incident before passing judgment on whether the police acted properly.

But there is no issue about vandalism and looting.  The criminals engaged in those activities did not see Walter Wallace Jr. as a victim.  They saw him as an opportunity.

With the above in mind, I have three questions:

-If you were interested in opening a commercial establishment in Philadelphia would you consider doing so in that area?

-If you owned one of the stores that was vandalized/looted in that neighborhood, how eager would you be to re-open?

-If the result of this behavior turns out to be fewer stores, thus fewer places to shop, thus fewer jobs for local residents, how much of this would you blame on the vandals/looters – whether or not the police acted properly?

The answers to those questions tell us a great deal about what goes on in neighborhoods such as West Philadelphia.  And what the decent, law-abiding people who live there have to deal with.

I don’t envy them.

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