Police shoot a black man in Philadelphia starting several demonstrations

Firefighters hose down a burning police vehicle in Philadelphia, US, October 27, 2020 in this still image taken from social media video via Instagram @reef_gotcars_58. (Reuters)
Firefighters hose down a burning police vehicle in Philadelphia, US, October 27, 2020 in this still image taken from social media video via Instagram @reef_gotcars_58. (Reuters)

After yelling at him to drop his knife, police shot and killed a 27-year-old Black man on Philadelphia Street, sparking violent protests that police said thirty officers were wounded and led to dozens of arrests.

The shooting took place on Monday before 4 pm as officers responded to a report of a person with a gun, police spokeswoman Tanya Little said.

Officers were called to the neighborhood of Cobbs Creek and met the man, later identified as Walter Wallace, who, Little said, was holding a knife. Wallace was ordered by officers to drop the knife, but he "advanced towards" them instead.

Then both officers fired "several times," said Little.

He hit Wallace in the shoulder and chest. He was then put in a police vehicle by one of the officers and taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later, Little said.

Demonstrations

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that hundreds of people took to the streets to protest the shooting late Monday into early Tuesday, with interactions between protesters and police turned violent at times. The video showed many officers screaming and crying.

As police struggled to contain the crowds, police cars and dumpsters were set on fire.

As they ran down 52nd Street chasing protesters from the main thoroughfare, more than a dozen officers, many with batons in hand, formed a line. The crowd then largely dispersed.

According to preliminary police information, thirty officers were injured, most of them after being hit by projectiles such as bricks and rocks. After she was hit by a pickup truck, one officer was hospitalized in stable condition with a broken leg and other injuries, the police said, while the other injured officers were treated and released.

Evidence Video

A bystander's video of the fatal confrontation recorded and posted on social media shows officers pointing their guns at Wallace as he walks around a car and on the street.

He's walking towards the officers as they're back in the street away from him, guns still aimed at him. They're shouting at him to put down his knife.

Then both fire a couple of shots and Wallace collapses in the street. There's a woman running up to him yelling. Many visitors then approach him.

In the video, it is unclear if he had a knife. Witnesses reported that he was holding one.

In the confrontation, no officers or bystanders were injured, Little said. They did not immediately disclose the names of the officers who fired the shots.

Pending the investigation, both were wearing body cameras and were taken off street duty.

Video 'raises many questions'

Some people spoke with Danielle Outlaw, the city police commissioner, who arrived at the scene shortly after the shooting took place.

In a statement, Outlaw said, "I heard and felt the anger of the community," adding that the video "raises many questions" and that "those questions will be fully addressed by the investigation."

The Inquirer was told by Wallace's father, Walter Wallace Sr, that his son was also a father, was on medication, and struggled with mental health problems.

"Why were they not using a taser? "Asked him.

The races were not immediately confirmed by police officers. The shooting took place in West Philadelphia, a predominantly black neighborhood. The Inquirer reported that at a nearby park, dozens of protesters gathered and chanted "Black lives matter."

Publish : 2020-10-27 21:58:00
# Police Brutality # Philadelphia # Black Lives Matter # BLM # #BLM