When will they stop killing us? Another black man has been shot and killed by police this Monday in Philadelphia after yelling at him to drop his knife, which has sparked violent protests, over 30 injured officers, and led to dozens of arrests.
According to the police spokesperson Tanya Little, the police shooting occurred before 4 p.m. Monday where officers responded to a report of a person with a weapon.
Officers were called to the scene in a Cobbs Creek neighborhood, where they encountered 27-year-old Walter Wallace, who was holding a knife. According to Little, officers ordered Wallace to drop the knife, but instead he “advanced toward” them and both officers fired “several” times. Wallace was hit in the shoulder and chest.
One of the officers drove him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that late Monday into early Tuesday, hundreds of people took to the streets to protest the shooting which led to interactions between protesters and police, sometimes turning violent. The video showed many protesters yelling and crying at the officers.
Many police cars and dumpsters were set on fire after police struggled to contain the crowd. More than a dozen officers with batons in hand formed a line as they ran down 52nd street chasing protesters away from the main road.
Police say that most of the officers injured were struck by items like bricks and rocks. One officer was in stable condition with a broken leg and other injuries from being hit by a pickup truck. Other injured officers were treated and released.
A bystander had recorded the fatal confrontation and posted the video to social media showing the officers pointing their guns at Wallace as he walked into the street and around the car. As Wallace walked toward the officers they backed away, guns still aimed, as they yelled at him to put the knife down.
Both officers then fired several shots and Wallace collapsed in the street. A woman is then seen running up to him screaming and several other bystanders then approach him.
Witnesses say that Wallace was holding a knife, but it is unclear from the video if he had one.
The names of the officers who shot Wallace were not immediately disclosed. Both were wearing body cameras and were taken off street duty pending the investigation.
Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5 President John McNesby expressed his support for the officers involved.
He said, “Our police officers are being vilified this evening for doing their job and keeping the community safe, after being confronted by a man with a knife. We support and defend these officers, as they too are traumatized by being involved in a fatal shooting. We ask the public for its patience as investigators work to gather all the facts of this tragic incident in West Philadelphia today.”
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw arrived at the scene a short time after the shooting occurred.
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.”
Walter Wallace Sr., Wallace’s father, told the Inquirer that his son was also a father who struggled with mental health issues and was on medication. He asked, “Why didn’t they use a taser?”
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.”
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