Violent protests have taken over the city of Philadelphia after video surfaced of two Philly cops fatally shooting Walter Wallace Jr. The chaos unfolded almost immediately after the shooting took place including spreading to the city’s local police station. Multiple reports of officers being injured, stores looted and even ATMs being bombed across the city have been reported.
ABC News reports, riots and looting took place in Philadelphia last night largely unchecked by police, who were seen in several videos fleeing the scenes showing several frusturated protesters attacking them over the killing of Wallace. For several hours hundreds of protesters threw objects at law enforcement officers and shockingly in one video, according to the Inquirer, a black truck was seen running over an officer.
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One officer has been hospitalized and at least 30 others were injured after being struck by rocks, bricks, and other projectiles during unrest last night on Monday.
if that’s not enough, there has also been reports of ATMs being bombed across Philadelphia which is being suggested is connected to civil unrest. ATM machines have been targeted in, Roxborough, Chestnut Hill and Market Street, CBS 3 reported.
CBS further notes that dozens of ATM machines were blown up over the summer across Philadelphia.
Over 30 people were arrested overnight for various charges, including looting, rioting, and assaulting officers. Businesses looted included pharmacies, clothing stores and restaurants.
The unrest unfolded shortly following 4:00 p.m. EST after police say two officers responded to a call at 6100 block of Locust Street. The police say they received a report of a man with a knife. Family members quickly identified the suspect as Walter Wallace Jr. Police engaged in a conflict with Wallace Jr, telling him to drop the knife and he refused.
Video captured on a bystander’s cell phone shows Wallace progressing toward officers, allegedly armed with a knife. Wallace then ignored multiple commands to stop and put down the weapon. He also pushed passed a woman, who was later identified as his mother, who was trying to hold him back.
Both officers at least 10 feet away from Wallace then opened fire on the man, firing at minimum 10 gunshots, which can be heard before Wallace collapses on the ground.
Police spokesperson Sgt. Eric Gripp stated one of the officers drove Wallace to a nearby hospital however, it was too late, noting that Wallace had died from the bullet wounds.
Questions have immediately followed the shooting, like why police didn’t first attempt to use a taser before relying on deadly force which is typically a last option. The victim’s father, Walter Wallace Sr. said police shot his son 10 times and never once attempted anything less lethal.
“Why didn’t they use a Taser?” the senior Wallace asked outside a family residence on the block. “His mother was trying to defuse the situation.”
The Philly Inquirer reported that one witness, Maurice Holloway, told the newspaper he was on the street talking to his aunt when he saw police arrive. Wallace had a knife and was standing on the porch of his home, Holloway said, and officers immediately drew their guns.
Gripp told the media that both officers have been placed on administrative leave. Although, both police officiers have yet to be identified.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a statement after the shooting, “I recognize that the video of the incident raises many questions. Residents have my assurance that those questions will be fully addressed by the investigation.”
Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5 President John McNesby urged everyone to “wait for the investigation to complete and not to meetly vilify the police department.”
Executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, Reggie Shuford said Philadelphia “is overdue for a reckoning with the brazenly violent and abusive behavior in its police department. … Video from the incident suggests that no one was in immediate danger when officers killed him.” Shuford called for full transparency by city officials on the investigation of the shooting.