Violent rioting ripped through multiple blocks of West Philadelphia Monday evening following the police shooting of Walter Wallace. Officers repeatedly told Wallace, who was armed with a knife, to drop his weapon. A video shows Wallace advancing at two Philadelphia Police officers who told him to drop the knife multiple times while backing up. After walking around a car, Wallace continued to advance. Both officers then fired multiple times.
“Upon being struck, the male immediately dropped the knife and was scooped up by one of the discharging officers who took him into his police car, drove him over to Presbyterian Hospital where, unfortunately, he succumbed to his injuries,” Sgt. Eric Gripp told CBS Philadelphia. The shooting took place near 61st and Locust Streets.
Demonstrations turned violent later in the night. Police vehicles were set on fire, as were dumpsters and other vehicles. Rocks were pelted at riot police, who were at times forced to retreat. 52nd street saw the most intense rioting while some vandalism and looting also occurred in North Philadelphia and Germantown.
30 police officers were reportedly injured over the course of the night. 12 suffered injuries that required hospitalization. Multiple injuries occurred when a a truck slammed into police lines, striking at least one officer.
The city is bracing for more unrest this evening. Many business owners have spent Tuesday boarding up their shops in anticipation of looting. Stores are also being boarded up in Upper Darby around the 69th street area.
According to Steve Keely of Fox Philadelphia, the PA National Guard will again be deployed to Philadelphia. The National Guard was previously called in to areas of West Philadelphia and Upper Darby following the George Floyd riots.
The White House has considered deploying federal resources in order to quell the rioting. “We’re monitoring the situation closely,” White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah told Fox News. “If necessary we’ll be standing by and prepared to deploy federal resources.”
Mayor Jim Kenney promised to investigate the officers involved in the Wallace shooting. “I have watched the video of this tragic incident and it presents difficult questions that must be answered” he said of the shooting. He then promised an investigation.
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