Violence in Philadelphia as black man shot by police; 12 officers injured, 1 hit by truck

Cop cars and dumpsters were set on fire as police struggled to contain the crowds.

By Associated Press

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets late Monday after the shooting of a black man in Philadelphia Monday afternoon. Interactions between protesters and police turned violent at times.

Video showed many yelling at officers and crying.

Cop cars and dumpsters were set on fire as police struggled to contain the crowds. More than a dozen officers, many with batons in hand, formed a line as they ran down 52nd Street chasing protesters away from the main thoroughfare. The crowd largely dispersed then.

Twelve officers were hospitalized with injuries, officials said on Tuesday. One sergeant broke her leg after being hit by a pickup truck during one of the clashes.

The violence began after police shot and killed 27-year-old Walter Wallace on a Philadelphia street after yelling at him to drop his knife.

The shooting occurred before 4:00 p.m. as officers responded to a report of a person with a weapon, police spokesperson Tanya Little said.

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Officers ordered Wallace to drop the knife, but he instead “advanced towards” them. Both officers then fired “several times,” Little said.

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

Video of the fatal confrontation recorded by a bystander and posted on social media shows officers pointing their guns at Wallace as he walks in the street and around a car. He walks toward the officers as they back away from him in the street, guns still aimed at him. They yell at him to put his knife down.

Both then fire several shots and Wallace collapses in the street. A woman runs up to him screaming. Several bystanders then approach him.

It is unclear in the video if he had a knife. Witnesses said he was holding one.

No officers or bystanders were injured, Little said. The names of the officers who fired the shots were not immediately disclosed. Both were wearing body cameras and were taken off street duty pending the investigation.

Some people spoke with city Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, who arrived at the scene a short time after the shooting occurred.

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

Wallace’s father, Walter Wallace Sr., told the Philadelphia Inquirer that his son was also a father, was on medication and struggled with mental health issues.

“Why didn’t they use a taser?” he asked.

The races of the police officers weren’t immediately confirmed. The shooting occurred in a predominantly black neighborhood in west Philadelphia. The Inquirer reported that dozens of protesters gathered at a nearby park and chanted “Black lives matter.”

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office issued a statement following the shooting: “We intend to go where the facts and law lead us and to do so carefully, without rushing to judgment and without bias of any kind.”

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