The activist organization BAMN is a “Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary.” BAMN has a chapter in the city of Santa Ana.
The rally and march were held on Wednesday, October 28th was in response to the police-involved shooting of Walt Wallace Jr., a 27-year-old African American who was fatally shot by two Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) officers during a confrontation on Monday, October 26th.
The police were responding to a report of a person with a weapon. Wallace had a knife and was walking towards the officers before being shot. The young man suffered from bipolar disorder.
Relatives called authorities at least three times that day, including one time when Wallace’s brother asked for an ambulance, Shaka Johnson, an attorney representing the Wallace family, said in a news conference Tuesday.
Wallace, an aspiring rapper, leaves behind nine children and a wife.
The fatal shooting has ignited three days of riots. There have been clashes with PPD and protestors. Thirty officers have been injured and a large number of people have been arrested.
“It is devastating what happened in Philadelphia. It is important to show solidarity across communities, counties, and countries,” said Anthony Bryson.
The event started at 6:00 pm on the corner of 17th Street and Bristol Street, in the city of Santa Ana. The primary orator was Able De la Cruz he was one of the local BAMN organizers who helped to coordinate this emergency protest. De la Cruz was the main speaker at this demonstration and after the spokesperson was done conveying his message, the march began.
There were around 20 participants and three automobiles in the caravan. The demonstrators chanted in English and Spanish while marching down the streets. There were some people outside their residents. After the march was over, the demonstrators went back to where the rally originated.
Why did the organization hold an emergency protest?
“Today our march in Santa Ana is to demand justice for Walter Wallace Jr. and to demand those cops who killed him to be locked up for shooting him. Mr. Wallace was having a mental crisis and the family called experts to come out to help and the police arrived. The officers escalated the situation to the point where they killed him. We are out here to stand in full solidarity with the people in Philadelphia who have been rioting for the past few days and we are joining their fight to demand justice for Walter Wallace,” said Del la Cruz.
The protestors who participated in the BAMN event gave their reasons why they attended the gathering. “It was wrong the way Walter Wallace was killed by police. I stand with the Black Lives Matter movement. I live in Santa Ana and I support BAMN when I can,” explained attendee Alexander Cole.
“Stand in solidarity with Philadelphia for what happened to Walter Wallace. It is not right for the police to play executioners. They should not be killing people,” said activist Carolina Mendez.
Before and after the event there was a clipboard with a sign-up sheet where the participants could sign-up with BAMN. The contact information is www.bamn.com, Facebook.com/bamn, IG: @joinbamn, Twitter: @followbamn, (885) ASK-BAMN