Protesters gathered outside a Philadelphia police station on Monday night hours after police shot and killed a man with a knife in the afternoon, CBS Philly reports. The victim has been identified as Walter Wallace Jr., 27.
Tensions were mounting as the night wore on.
Early Tuesday, a relatively fast-paced van struck an officer. The video shows a man standing through the roof of the truck cab. A spectator can be heard saying, “Oh my god. He hit a cop.”
Philadelphia Police Sgt. Eric Gripp said the officer, a 56-year-old woman, was hospitalized in stable condition with a broken leg and other injuries. The pickup was found nearby, unoccupied, he added.
CBS Philly says vandals smashed windows and a glass door and spray-painted walls at a police station.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, there was vandalism and looting in a commercial corridor where police and protesters clashed earlier this summer.
Police later said 29 other officers were treated and released to hospitals after being hit by stones and bricks. Authorities have reported more than 30 arrests. They said several businesses had been looted across the city. Five police vehicles were vandalized along with one of the firefighters, police added.
Dumpsters were also set on fire, reports the Associated Press.
It all started when police responded to a call about a man with a gun around 2:45 p.m., according to CBS Philly.
“The officers who responded saw a man on the block. Immediately they noticed he had a knife in his possession and was waving it and giving it up erratically,” Gripp said.
A cell phone video shows Wallace walking around a car on the street towards two officers who are backing up, pointing their guns at him. Then they open fire. Several shots are heard. It is not clear from the video what happened just before the shoot.
Wallace is then seen lying in the street.
The AP quotes police spokeswoman Tanya Little, who said police ordered Wallace to drop the knife, but “walked up” to them instead.
Gripp said one of the officers “picked up” the knife after the shooting and one of them took Wallace to hospital, where he died.
Wallace was shot in the shoulder and chest, the AP reports.
A witness, Maurice Holoway, told CBS Philly that he and several others tried to convince Wallace to drop the knife, to no avail.
Holoway told the station that if the police felt they had to shoot, they should have hit him in the leg “or not shoot him at all.”
Wallace’s father, Walter Wallace Sr., told the Inquirer that it appeared his son had been shot 10 times.
“Why didn’t they use a Taser?” the newspaper quotes him as asking. “Her mother was trying to defuse the situation.”
He said his son had mental health issues and was taking medication. “Why do you have to shoot him?”
The two officers have been removed from street service pending an investigation, the Inquirer said. Their names have not been released.
Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement that there would be “a full investigation. I look forward to a swift and transparent resolution for the benefit of Mr. Wallace, his family, the officers and Philadelphia.”
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a separate statement: “I recognize that the video of the incident raises many questions. Residents have confidence that these matters will be fully addressed by the investigation.”
Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 5 President John McNesby urged everyone “to wait until the investigation is over and not to slander the police department.”
But Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, said Philadelphia “was late in considering the blatantly violent and abusive behavior of its police department. … Video of the incident suggests that no one is. was in immediate danger when the police were killed. ” Shuford called for full transparency on the part of city officials.
Renowned civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump claimed that the police “made NO attempt to defuse the situation in this video. They went straight to kill Wallace in front of his relatives!”