Protests erupted overnight in Philadelphia after two city police officers fatally shot knife-wielding black man, while responding to a call about a domestic row shot Walter Wallace Jr., on Monday afternoon
The two officers can be heard in a video posted on social media, fire fourteen shots at 27-year-old Wallace Jr in a west Philadelphia street round 4 pm on Monday
He was hit with 10 bullets and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital
Wallace Jr. was wielding a knife as he confronted the officers and did not obey commands to drop the knife
The victim’s mother and neighbors were also heard telling the police not to shoot because he would eventually drop the knife
Walter Wallace Sr, later explained that his son suffered from mental illness and was on medication at the time of his death, and the mother’s presence would have calmed him down eventually, as well
Witnesses and neighbors who heard the victim’s mother pleading with cops not to shoot as she tried to shield her son with her body, want to know why that level of lethal force was used
The anger felt by residents swelled into clashes with law enforcement on Monday night into early Tuesday and a violent standoff outside the Philadelphia Police 18th District HQ
At least 30 officers reportedly were injured by bricks and other projectiles thrown at them by demonstrators
One female officer was struck by a vehicle and hospitalized with serious injuries, the shocking moment was caught on camera by a protester
Two officers have been placed on paid administrative leave pending investigation
The city of Philadelphia saw a night of violent protests on Monday as protesters faced off with police hours after a pair of police officers fatally shot a 27-year-old black man armed with a knife during a domestic disturbance call.
Late into the night, growing anger boiled over into a violent riot near the Philadelphia Police 18th District building. Several officers were injured by bricks and other projectiles hurled at them by the angry demonstrators from the neighborhood. The clashes later erupted into widespread rioting and vandalism that engulfed Philadelphia on Monday night
Local media reports say at least 30 officers have been hurt with 12 hospitalized including one female Philadelphia Police Sergeant, 56, who suffered a broken leg after being hit by a speeding pick-up truck that was videoed driving towards a line of officers close to the city center shortly before 1am, according to Philadelphia Police.
Another 30 people reportedly, have been arrested.
Late into the night, growing anger turned into a violent standoff outside the Philadelphia Police 18th District headquarters in the western part of the city as several officers were injured by bricks and other projectiles thrown at them by a crowd of demonstrators.
Multiple car fires were reported with at least one police vehicle set on fire amid the chaos, with police saying five police vehicles and one Fire Department vehicle were vandalized.
According to police reports multiple multiple stores were looted across the city, including several Rite Aid stores in West Philadelphia, clothing and shoe stores and one restaurant.
The clashes between law enforcement and protesters were sparked by the police shooting of a 27-year-old black man while responding to a call of a domestic disturbance call along the 6100 block of Locust Street, just before 4pm on Monday.
The fatal confrontation was captured on video by a bystander, who later posted the clip to social media.
The video that has gone viral shows a man later identified as Walter Wallace Jr., whose family said suffered from mental illness was wielding a knife and weaving between parked cars to confront police, his mother trying to stop him, as a pair of police officers with guns drawn backed away.
The video shows two officers pointing their guns at the man as he walks away from them in the street and ducks around a car.
The man then re-emerges in frame and is seen walking towards the officers with his arm outstretched.
The officers are seen backing away from him as he continues to advance towards them in the middle of the street, with their guns still drawn.
‘Put the knife down, put the knife down,’ one officer can be heard saying in the clip.
Within minutes both cops simultaneously opened fire on the man a few yards in front of them. The audio from the video indicates that at least fourteen shots were fired. Wallace Jr. reportedly was hit and felled with 10 bullets according to his father, Walter Wallace Sr.
According to police sources, responding officers arrived, they found Wallace holding a knife. Thee officers said they repeatedly told Wallace to drop the blade but he failed to acquiesce.
Two officers then opened fire, striking the 27-year-old multiple times. Wallace was rushed to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Both officers then open fire at Wallace, shooting at least 14 shots. Wallace then collapses in the street.
A woman, believed to be Wallace’s mother, is seen running over towards Wallace, hysterically screaming ‘no’ towards the officers. She then appears to throw something at one of the cops. Several other bystanders then race over.
‘You really had to give him that many f***ing shots?’ the man recording the footage is heard shouting out.
At least a dozen evidence markers were found at the scene.
Witnesses and neighbors told ABC6 that they want to know why less-lethal force wasn’t used.
Witness Maurice Holloway, who was talking to his aunt along the street when he heard the police arrive, said Wallace Jr. had been stood on the porch of his home holding a knife.
Officers immediately drew their guns, he said. The victim’s mother was stood next to him, and chased after him as he walked down the steps of his porch towards the officers, still holding the knife, Holloway said.
The mother attempted to shield him from the officers, telling police he was her son.
‘I’m yelling, “put down the gun, put down the gun,” and everyone is saying, “don’t shoot him, he’s gonna put it down, we know him,”’ Holloway toldo the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Wallace’s mother attempted to grab her son, he said, but he shrugged her off and then walked towards the officers.
‘He turns and then you hear the shots,’ Holloway said. ‘They were too far from him. It was so many
Police spokesperson Sgt. Eric Gripp told the Inquirer that officers ordered Wallace to drop the weapon, and he ‘advanced towards the officers’.
Gripp said investigators are reviewing footage of what happened; both officers were wearing body cameras.
Gripp said it was unclear how many times the man was shot or where in his body he was struck.
By Monday night, a group of residents took to the streets protesting Wallace’s death close to where he was shot, yelling a police and questioning the officers’ use of lethal force.
At around 6:30pm the crowd dispersed from Locust Street and dozens of around 200 protesters were seen gathering at Malcolm X Park at 51st and Pine Streets, chanting ‘Black Lives Matter’, according to the Inquirer.
They then marched to the police station at 55th and Pine Streets as they chanted, ‘Say his name: Walter Wallace.’
Protesters confronted police who stood in a line with riot shields behind metal barricades close to the police headquarters.
Video posted to social media shows protesters throwing bricks, trash cans and other projectiles at an advancing line of anti-riot police.
Glass is also heard smashing in the background of the video, as projectiles strike the officers’ shields.
Dozen of officers were injures. A 56-year-old female police officer was hospitalized after being run down by a speeding black pick-up truck outside 5201 Chestnut St shortly before 1am.
In video posted to social media, the truck is seen speeding through an intersection and striking multiple officers. At least one officer stayed down, with bystanders seen racing to their aid.
The exact number of officers struck or status of the hospitalized officer is not immediately known.
The truck was later stopped by police and the driver was later taken into custody.
However, a gauge of the rage felt by the community is summed up in the words of the protester who shot the footage of the cop being hit, who told reporters: ‘The cop that got ran over, I think she was either a sergeant or a lieutenant, she got hit by a truck or a car.
‘She was hit real bad, she fell on the ground, I think her leg was hurt. A couple of cops got f***ed up, what they deserved, got hit in the head with bottles.
‘They deserved everything that they received.’
The author of the video who only identified as Mahogany continued: ‘We need a change, because if change don’t come, it will get worse. We need to come to some neutral ground about how the police are treating Americans, especially black males and females, Latinos, anybody of color is being treated ridiculously.
‘If that was a white man with a knife, they would have handled it different. The cops are taught to apprehend criminals in different ways and different procedures. They are shooting first and asking questions later.
‘Us the black people are tired of being shot at from officers, we are tired of being scared and afraid for our lives from officers. We are sick and tired of having to be scared when we’re driving, when we’re walking down the streets because we’re black. We are tired of being racially profiled.
‘The protest wasn’t meant to be violent, but the only way these cops understand is fighting violence with violence. Our young black men are dying at the hands of people who are meant to protect and serve. We are scared to death of police officers.’
Wallace Jr. was rushed to the hospital after being shot, where he was later pronounced dead.
Officers immediately drew their guns, he said. Wallace’s mother was stood next to him, and chased after him as he walked down the steps of his porch towards the officers, still holding the knife. At least a dozen evidence markers were found at the scene. Around 14 shots are heard ringing out in the video.
As witnesses and neighbors demanded clarification on why such lethal force was necessary, the victim’s Wallace’s father, Walter Wallace Sr., told reporters it appeared his son had been shot 10 times.
‘Why didn’t they use a taser?’ he asked outside his family’s residence. ‘His mother was trying to diffuse the situation.’
According to Wallace Sr., his son had mental health issues and was on medication.
Wallace Jr. was rushed to the hospital after being shot, where he was later pronounced dead.
Officers immediately drew their guns, he said. Wallace’s mother was stood next to him, and chased after him as he walked down the steps of his porch towards the officers, still holding the knife. At least a dozen evidence markers were found at the scene. Around 14 shots are heard ringing out in the video. Witnesses and neighbors want to know why such lethal force was necessary.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kennedy issued a statement Monday night, saying: ‘My prayers are with the family and friends of Walter Wallace. I have watched the video of this tragic incident and it presents difficult questions that must be answered.
‘I spoke tonight with Mr. Wallace’s family, and will continue to reach out to hear their concerns firsthand, and to answer their questions to the extent that I am able,’ he continued, promising a full investigation would be carried out.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw also offered residence her ‘assurance that those questions will be fully addressed by the investigation.’
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner released a statement Monday saying his office’s Special Investigation Unit will be working with police in their investigation into the shooting.
Responding, John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, said in a statement that police were being ‘vilified this evening for doing their job and keeping the community safe, after being confronted by a man with a knife.’
Both officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative assignment, pending an investigation.