The shooting of a Black man in Philadelphia Monday night sparked protests and clashes between the police and residents.
The Black man was identified as Walter Wallace, who was killed during a confrontation Monday afternoon in West Philadelphia. According to reports, Wallace began threatening police with a knife. Video taken by citizens at the scene show cops telling Wallace to put the knife down as they backed into the street. Wallace follows them into the street. The two cops then shot Wallace killing him with a bevy of bullets.
Philadelphia cops fatally shot Walter Wallace Jr. today, firing 10+ times at him while he stood at least 10ft away. He allegedly had a knife but cops made NO attempts at de-escalating the situation in this video. They went straight to killing Wallace in front of his loved ones! pic.twitter.com/U2zYGqK7Ag
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) October 27, 2020
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and police commissioner Danielle Outlaw promised a full investigation in a joint statement on the incident.
“I have directed the Officer Involved Shooting Investigation Unit to begin its investigation. I recognize that the video of the incident raises many questions,” Outlaw said in her statement. “Residents have my assurance that those questions will be fully addressed by the investigation. While at the scene this evening, I heard and felt the anger of the community. Everyone involved will forever be impacted. I will be leaning on what the investigation gleans to answer the many unanswered questions that exist. I also plan to join the Mayor in meeting with members of the community and members of Mr. Wallace’s family to hear their concerns as soon as it can be scheduled.”
Wallace’s father, Walter Wallace Sr., told the Philadelphia Inquirer his wife and Wallace’s mom was trying to defuse the situation before police shot him.
“Why didn’t they use a Taser?” Wallace Sr. asked the Inquirer. “His mother was trying to defuse the situation. He has mental issues,” Wallace Sr. said, adding that his son was on medication. “Why you have to gun him down?”
Philadelphia residents did not wait to express their anger. Citizens clashed with cops all night throwing rocks, bricks, and glass bottles at them. Fox 29, a local Philadelphia affiliate, reported 30 officers were injured in the riots. Most of the officers suffered minor injuries, but one female officer did break her leg after police said she was hit by a pickup truck.
Arkansas Republican Tom Cotton posted a video on Twitter of police being forced to retreat, saying “Philadelphia’s liberal prosecutor has abandoned his police and refuses to enforce the law.”
Philadelphia’s liberal prosecutor has abandoned his police and refuses to enforce the law. Last night 30 officers were injured in riots—and as always the biggest victims are the city’s most vulnerable.
We must save America’s cities from this destruction.pic.twitter.com/wJW6nzozl7
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) October 27, 2020
Protesters also set police cruisers and dumpsters on fire and local businesses, including a Foot Locker, which was broken into and vandalized. About 40 people in Philadelphia were arrested overnight for a slew of charges including looting and vandalism.