Philadelphia Police said 30 officers were injured in violent protests Monday night that erupted after police shot and killed a 27-year-old black man who authorities said had a knife.
More than 300 people marched through the streets of Philadelphia Monday through Tuesday in protest against the shooting of Walter Wallace, Jr. which was captured on video. Dozens of officers were injured by stones, bricks and other projectiles and a 56-year-old woman was struck by a van and hospitalized with a broken leg, WCAU-TV reported.
Several businesses were looted and more than 30 people were arrested on charges of looting, rioting and assaulting agents, KYW-TV reported.
The protest comes after months of protests against police violence and racial injustice in the city and across the country that erupted in May when George Floyd, a black man, was killed by a white policeman in Minneapolis.
Police killed Walter Wallace after yelling at him to drop a knife
The shooting took place before 4 p.m. on Monday as officers responded to a report of a person with a gun, police spokeswoman Tanya Little said.
Officers were called to Cobbs Creek, a predominantly black neighborhood in West Philadelphia. They met the man, later identified as Wallace, who was holding a knife, Little said. The officers ordered Wallace to drop the knife, but instead he “walked” towards them. The two officers then fired “several times,” Little said.
Wallace was shot in the shoulder and chest. One of the officers then placed him in a police vehicle and drove him to hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after, Little said.
Walter Wallace:Philadelphia police fatally shoot black man after yelling at him to drop knife in recorded incident
No officers or bystanders were injured in the confrontation, Little said. The names of the officers who fired the shots were not immediately disclosed and their races were not immediately confirmed.
Both wore body cameras and were taken to the streets pending investigation.
Spectator video captures fatal confrontation
Video of the shoot was taken by a viewer and shared on social media by Nationally renowned civil rights lawyer Ben Crump. The footage shows two officers pointing their guns at Wallace and yelling at him to put down his knife.
As Wallace walks down the street towards the officers, they pull away from him and continue to aim their guns at him. The two officers fire several shots and Wallace falls to the ground.
A woman runs up to him yelling at the officers as a crowd gathers around him.
It is not known in the video if he had a knife. Witnesses said he had one.
Wallace’s father, Walter Wallace Sr., told the Philadelphia Inquirer he was on medication and had mental health issues.
“Why didn’t they use a taser?” He asked.
Shooting investigation underway, officials say
Police Commissioner Danielle M. Outlaw said she had ordered an investigation into the shooting and would fully respond to questions raised by the video. She added that she plans to speak with Wallace’s family.
“At the scene tonight, I heard and felt the anger of the community,” she said in a statement. “Everyone involved will be affected forever.”
District Attorney Larry Krasner said in a statement his office will conduct a joint investigation into the shooting with the shootings investigation unit involving officers from the police department. He urged witnesses to contact his office.
“We intend to go where the facts and the law lead us and to do so with care, without rushing judgment and without bias of any kind,” he said.
Mayor Jim Kenney said he watched “the video of this tragic incident” and spoke with Wallace’s family.
City council member Jamie Gauthier called the shooting a “tragedy” and demanded accountability and justice in a statement. She said police should immediately release body camera footage of the incident.
“If these police officers had enjoyed the life of this black man – if they had treated him as a person with mental health issues, instead of a criminal – we might be spared our collective outrage at a another injustice on the part of the police, ”said Gauthier.
Contributor: The Associated Press
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