More Than 30 Arrested After Riots Erupt In Philadelphia Following Alleged Police Shooting Of Man With Knife


Marlo Safi Culture Reporter
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Riots erupted Monday in Philadelphia after a man allegedly armed with a knife was shot and killed by police, numerous sources reported.

Police in Philadelphia said that 30 officers were injured during the riots, dozens were hit with rocks and other projectiles, and a 56-year-old female officer was hit by a pickup truck and hospitalized, USA Today reported.

The riots began after a man identified as 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr. was killed by police after officers responded Monday to a report of a man with a weapon. When they arrived at the scene, they encountered a man with a knife who was told repeatedly to drop the knife, according to police. The unidentified man didn’t follow calls to drop the knife, and police opened fire, shooting him multiple times, according to NBC. (RELATED: Officials Investigate Police Shooting Of Man Reportedly Armed With Knife In West Philadelphia)

Police say Wallace “advanced towards” them. A witness told NBC that he didn’t hear officers tell Wallace to drop the knife, and other witnesses said the man was armed with a knife but didn’t charge at police, according to the Inquirer

No officers or bystanders were injured during the incident, according to USA Today. 

Bystander video of the shooting was shared on social media. Wallace’s father told the Inquirer that his son was on medication and struggled with mental health issues, and also asked “Why didn’t they use a taser?”

More than 300 people participated in protests and rioting in Philadelphia later the same day. Several businesses were looted and more than 30 people were arrested for charges including looting, rioting, and assaulting officers, according to CBS Philly.

The protests and riots come after nationwide demonstrations prompted by the death of George Floyd in May, who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck. While many protests remained peaceful, numerous cities also saw violent rioting, looting, vandalism, and arson.

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office said in a statement that the office’s Special Investigations Unit is investigating jointly with the Philadelphia Police Department’s Officer-Involved Shooting Investigation Unit, 6 ABC reported. Both officers were taken off street duty pending an investigation, according to USA Today. 

“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,” the statement says. “In the hours and days following this shooting, we ask Philadelphians to come together to uphold people’s freedom to express themselves peacefully and to reject violence of any kind.”