At Least 12 Philadelphia Officers Hospitalized As Violent Clashes Break Out Over Walter Wallace Shooting

At least 12 officers have reportedly been been hospitalized after rioting broke out on the streets of Philadelphia in response to the police shooting of a 27-year-old Black man.

The man, identified as Walter Wallace, was shot several times by police after he approached them allegedly armed with a knife at around 5 p.m. on Monday.

A video posted onto social media shows officers repeatedly urging Wallace to drop the weapon as a woman, believed to be his mother, attempts to restrain him. The officers then fire several times at Wallace, who was later pronounced dead.

Rioting broke out in Philadelphia in response to the shooting, with violent scenes erupting on the streets which left several officers injured.

Lauren Johnson of FOX 29, citing Sergeant Eric Gripp of the Philadelphia Police, said on Twitter: "BREAKING:@PPDEricGripp reports at least 12@PhillyPolice officers hospitalized at this hour with various injuries. One of them—a 56 year old female sergeant hit by a black pickup truck near 52nd and Walnut. She is in stable condition with a broken leg. #WestPhilly"

A video of the incident also appears to have been posted on social media.

Officer down. They just hit a cop with a car. #Philly Philadelphia, PA (clipped from @after_theaction live stream) pic.twitter.com/dy9H0sWxja

— Kitty Shackleford (@KittyLists) October 27, 2020

Other clips posted online show officers being struck with missiles amid the chaos, as well as the torching of a police vehicle. A large crowd also gathered outside the local police station to protest against the shooting.

In a statement, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said the video "raises many questions" while announcing that the Officer Involved Shooting Investigation Unit will begin an investigation.

"Residents have my assurance that those questions will be fully addressed by the investigation," Outlaw said.
"While at the scene this evening, I heard and felt the anger of the community. Everyone involved will forever be impacted. I will be leaning on what the investigation gleans to answer the many unanswered questions that exist.

"I also plan to join the Mayor in meeting with members of the community and members of Mr. Wallace's family to hear their concerns as soon as it can be scheduled."

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said: "My prayers are with the family and friends of Walter Wallace. I have watched the video of this tragic incident and it presents difficult questions that must be answered.

"I spoke tonight with Mr. Wallace's family, and will continue to reach out to hear their concerns first-hand, and to answer their questions to the extent that I am able.

"I look forward to a speedy and transparent resolution for the sake of Mr. Wallace, his family, the officers, and for Philadelphia."

pic.twitter.com/LqqfVanwte

— Ill Will Editions (@illwilleditions) October 27, 2020

A police SUV is on fire at 52nd and market, surrounded by a crowd of a couple hundred pic.twitter.com/dwSFbNoMgs

— Anna Orso (@anna_orso) October 27, 2020

The actions of the officer in response to the armed man were defended by Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5 President John McNesby.
"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," McNesby said.
"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."
The victim's family say the 27-year-old suffered from mental health issues and was on medication at the time.
"Why didn't they use a Taser?" Walter Wallace Sr. asked, reported The Philadelphia Inquirer. "His mother was trying to defuse the situation."
Philadelphia Police have been contacted for comment.

philidelphia
A police officer crosses his arms while observing activists gathering in protest outside the 26th Precinct on June 3, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Rioting has broken out in Philadelphia in response to the police shooting of a 27-year-old Black man who was armed with a knife. Mark Makela/Getty