The fatal shooting of Black man Walter Wallace Jr led to massive protests in Philadelphia. The protests that broke on Monday night turned violent when dozens of officers were injured in the incident. Protestors threw rocks, bricks and other projectiles at the officers and injured as many as 30 police officers.
A 56-year-old female officer was run over by a truck, and she ended up with a broken leg according to news reports. Nearly 300 people participated in the protests on Monday night.
30 Philadelphia Police Officers Injured In Protests
The fatal killing of Walter Wallace Jr was recorded on video, and it went viral. The officers claimed that the man had a knife during the incident.
According to news reports, several businesses suffered huge losses as people looted businesses. During the incident, as many as 30 people were arrested on charges of rioting, looting and causing damage to businesses. They were also charged with assaulting the officers during the protests.
As per the video that is going viral on social media, a police car was set on fire during the protests. Later, the police used batons and pushed the crowd. Most people dispersed after this move by the police.
It can be recalled that such protests have become common after the fatal killing of George Floyd by the police officers in Minneapolis. During that incident, the white police officer had fatally killed the Black man George Floyd in full public view while trying to restrain him.
The officer had placed his knee on the neck of Floyd while arresting him, and this led to the death of George Floyd. Several protests rocked the nation after that incident, and the Black Lives Matter movement gained a lot of momentum.
According to police spokesperson Tanya Little, during the Philadelphia incident, the officers responded to a call that mentioned a person with a weapon. As officers went to Cobbs Creek in Philadelphia, they encountered Wallace who had a knife. The officers ordered Wallace to drop the knife, but he tried to move towards them. During the incident, both officers fired several times at Wallace according to police reports.
The police reports also added that Walter Wallace suffered injuries on the chest and shoulder during the incident and the officers immediately took him to the hospital. Wallace was pronounced dead later by the hospital authorities.
The statement by the police department said that no bystanders or officers were injured during the shooting incident. The identity of the police officers who shot Wallace was not disclosed, and they were taken off street duty at the moment. The report also mentioned that the officers were wearing body cameras, and an investigation was ordered into the shooting incident. The names and races of the officers were not made public in the statement.
Renowned civil rights attorney Ben Crump released the shooting video on social media after he received it from the bystander who shot the video of the encounter. The video shows that Wallace was walking around the street towards the officers and they tried to move back while continuing to aim their weapons at him. After which, both officers fired multiple shots at Wallace, and he was knocked down.
Soon after the incident, a woman was seen running towards the officers, and a crowd started gathering around them. Even though the witnesses claimed that Wallace had a knife during the incident, it was not clear in the video.
Speaking to the media, father of Wallace, Walter Wallace Sr said that Wallace Jr was on medication and he was suffering from mental health issues. He asked why the police did not use a taser at Wallace during the incident.
Police Commissioner Danielle M Outlaw said that an investigation had been ordered into the incident and she will also address all the questions raised by the video. She also added that she plans to meet the family of Wallace and discuss the incident with them. She said that she heard and felt the anger of the community after the incident and added that everyone involved in the incident would be impacted forever.
District attorney Larry Krasner also released a statement that his office will conduct a joint investigation along with the police department. He also urged witnesses to contact his office with any information they may be having about the case.
Mayor Jim Kenney also said that he was aware of the incident and watched the video of the unfortunate incident. He also spoke to the family of Walter Wallace after the incident.
City council member Jamie Gauthier said that the incident shows the way police had behaved with the victim and urged that the department should release the body camera footage to clarify all the doubts. She also said that the police officers should have treated the person as a mental health patient and not like a criminal.
Such incidents have rocked the country ever since the fatal killing of George Floyd in the early part of this year. After that, many such incidents have happened, and it has now become a common scene across the nation. However, the police department seems to have learnt no lessons from such incidents, and most of the victims of fatal police shootings did not have any criminal background. In the last few months, they had shot many mental health patients in this manner when they were called for some help.
Such incidents have also taken a political turn, and the President has openly supported the police on many occasions. The opponents are also trying to make the best out of such incidents and take the side of the victims. However, none of them is coming forward to bring any solution to such problems. This is an unfortunate incident, and it has become common for people to organize protests after every such fatal shooting. The protests have turned violent in most cases and resulted in further deaths due to the violence. The common public has also suffered a lot due to such clashes as businesses are burned and looted during such protests and police continue to attack the crowds during the protests.