30 arrested as Downtown Brooklyn protest leads to chaos

An NYPD van on Smith Street in downtown Brooklyn was vandalized Tuesday night during a protest in response to the killing of Walter Wallace, Jr. in Philadelphia.
Photo by Caroline Ourso

Roughly 30 protesters were arrested in Downtown Brooklyn on Tuesday night after a protest against the police killing of Walter Wallace Jr. in Philadelphia turned chaotic.

Hundreds of protesters dressed in black marched from Fort Greene Park to Downtown Brooklyn on Oct. 27, with some in the crowd lighting trash fires and smashing store windows and bus stop shelters along the way. In all, nine police vehicles and 39 storefronts mostly belonging to banks and chains were vandalized, according to police spokesperson Detective Denise Moroney.

The group was marching for Wallace, a 27-year-old Black man who was shot and killed by Philadelphia police while armed with a knife on Oct. 26 after suffering a mental breakdown.

Wallace’s killing was caught on cellphone video, and large protests have overtaken Philadelphia and other cities following his killing. A GoFundMe has also been set up for Wallace’s family. 


Protesters have demanded the Philadelphia Police Department release the names of the officers responsible for Wallace’s death.

Officers from the NYPD’s Strategic Response Group descended upon protesters shortly after 10 p.m. and arrested dozens of demonstrators as an automated message played over a police loudspeaker informed them that the gathering had been deemed unlawful. Many were taken in despite attempts to leave the scene.

One woman could be heard on video demanding to know where cops were taking her husband. Meanwhile, a black car with Taxi and Limousine Commission plates had its windows smashed by officers wielding batons as they tried to pass through a line of bike cops on Atlantic Avenue between Smith Street and Boerum Place. One of those arrested was a legal observer, according to witnesses. 

Arrested protesters face charges for assaulting a police officer, obstructing governmental administration, unlawful assembly, disorderly conduct and making graffiti. Five police officers sustained minor injuries, according to Maroney.