Following Walter Wallace Jr.’s death, Gideon’s Army posted a picture that read “WALTER WALLACE: REST IN POWER.” Wallace reportedly was shot while charging at police with a knife, due to a psychotic episode. Following Wallace’s death, riots broke out in Philadelphia and across the nation.
Gideon’s Army is an organization that seeks to eliminate modern police systems entirely and replace them with “violence interrupters” and “trauma officers.” According to their site, these officials would provide conflict resolution and counseling to reduce crime.
In its day to day, the organization focuses on “restorative justice” with troubled youth, in order to “dismantle the school to prison pipeline through social activities.” Restorative justice emphasizes a mediation approach in which the victim and offender communicate about the crime and its implications.
The organization’s logo depicts a black power fist on top of the Pan African flag colors.
Gideon’s Army was involved in the Black Lives Matter Nashville rally that escalated into a riot. The “I Will Breathe” Revolution Rally (Murder of George Floyd) Solidarity for Victims of Police Brutality & White Supremacy was also attended by Black Panthers and NAACP, among others.
The organization’s Founder and CEO, Rasheedat Fetuga, is an advocate for defunding the police.
Fetuga was a special advisory guest last week for the meeting of Mayor John Cooper’s Policing Policies Commission (PCC) Policies Group. The activist stated that police aren’t completely qualified for their jobs, which meant that they aren’t “really ‘first responders’.”
Fetuga also asserted that criminals aren’t really at fault for crimes – social determinants of health (SDOH) are to blame. She concluded her speech by stating that police don’t contribute to healthier communities.
Spokespersons for Gideon’s Army didn’t respond with comment by press time.
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