Walter Wallace Jr.'s police shooting murder, a Philadelphia man in a mental health crisis who attacked policemen with a knife, sparked widespread uproar in the city. PBWW reported on many incidents of police personnel being assaulted and withdrawn from protesters on the first night of turmoil. On the second night, however, it seemed as if the officers were the ones rioting, and an innocent woman and her baby were caught in the crossfire.
Several riot cops are seen swarming an SUV in a video shared on Twitter. They began breaking through all the windows on both sides for an inexplicable cause, with full disregard for anybody inside.
When the passenger's side door is opened, a 16-year-old kid is dragged from the car while cops continue to beat him with their batons. He is pushed to the ground and continues to be beaten by the officers. Rickia Young, the driver, is also dragged from the car and abused. Former officer Darren Kardos, 42, was a primary organiser of this mob assault on Young. Kardos was arrested this week as a result of an 18-month investigation into the cell phone footage of Young's assault. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Kardos, a seven-year veteran of the 19th District, was dismissed last spring along with another officer after an internal inquiry decided he used excessive force, including physical assault with a baton. According to District Attorney Larry Krasner, the footage shows Kardos smashing in Young's vehicle windows and then pulling her out by her hair, "followed by her being hit by fists, batons, and a variety of unidentifiable things."
Additionally, Krasner said that Kardos "made assertions about the victim's activities that were not substantiated by video evidence."
It's eerily similar to the Rodney King beating, but worse since a kid was involved. In September, Philadelphia taxpayers were informed that they would be required to pay Young $2 million for what the officers did to her that night. On that fateful night, Young — who was unaware of the demonstrations — proceeded into a blocked-off roadway and attempted to turn around when a swarm of officers stormed her vehicle and started assaulting her. Young and her sixteen-year-old nephew were pulled from their vehicle and viciously assaulted. Young's two-year-old was napping in the back seat of his vehicle when he was awakened by the sound of cracking the glass.
April Rice caught the incident on camera, which rapidly went viral when Young and her nephew were left bruised and bloodied for no reason." Her face was bloodied, and she seemed to have been pummelling by a swarm of passersby," attorney Riley H. Ross III told The Washington Post. Following Young's abduction, police abducted her son and brazenly exploited him in a phoney PR tale on social media. Later that day, a photo of a female cop holding Young's son was posted on the National Fraternal Order of Police's Facebook page, along with claims that officers discovered Young's son "lost" and "wandering around barefoot," before asserting that officers are "the only thing standing between order and anarchy."
This was all a fabrication.
Ross III told The Post at the time, "It's propaganda." "Using this child to argue, 'This child was in danger and the police were simply there to rescue him,' when the cops were the ones who created the situation." That little child is afraid as a result of the police action." According to lawyers, Young was separated from her kid for hours until the boy's grandmother discovered him in a police vehicle miles away in Center City, with shattered glass in his car seat. This is hardly the sight that should reflect the ostensibly free country. This is a scene from a war-torn wasteland. The fact that police felt comfortable approaching the car and bashing out windows implies that they were not fearful of an armed person or the possibility of being driven over — nor were they concerned about responsibility. In other words, this big band of riot cops committed an act of physical assault against a family stuck in the mayhem and received practically no repercussions – until now.
"To my mind, the video clearly shows that more than two policemen who were fired were involved in the physical attack," Kevin Mincey, one of Young's lawyers, said. "I'm at a loss as to how those individuals were permitted to continue wearing the Philadelphia Police Department's uniform."