Videos Show Philadelphia Police Attacked, Running for Cover Amid Riots Over Shooting of Walter Wallace

Rioting has broken out in Philadelphia in response to the police shooting of 27-year-old Black man Walter Wallace, who was allegedly armed with a knife.

Videos posted on social media show officers retreating on the streets as they are pelted with missiles, with police in riot gear having trash cans thrown at them while they use their shields to protect themselves.

One video also appears to show an officer being struck by a pickup truck near 52nd and Walnut. The officer is reported to be a 56-year-old female sergeant who suffered a broken leg after hit being by the vehicle. She is one of a number of officers who suffered various injuries during the disorder.

Elsewhere, a police car was set on fire and windows were reported to have been smashed on a number of buildings. A large crowd also gathered outside the local police station to protest against the shooting.

The violence began in the wake of the police shooting of Wallace in broad daylight on a West Philadelphia street. Video posted online shows the moment Philadelphia Police fired several times at the 27-year-old as he approached them allegedly armed with a knife.

Police were called to Locust and South 61st streets just before 5 p.m. on Monday to reports of a man holding a weapon.

The clip shows one woman, reported to be Wallace's mother, attempting to restrain him as he walks towards the officers. Officers can be heard repeatedly telling Wallace to drop the weapon before shooting him. He was later pronounced dead.

"Did you really have to give him that many shots," one man who is recording the incident can be heard saying.

Wallace's family said the 27-year-old suffers 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."

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."

Mayor Jim Kenney paid tribute to the victim and also said the video of the shooting "presents difficult questions that must be answered."

Kenney added: "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."

Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5 President John McNesby stands by the actions of the officers involved in the shooting and condemned the subsequent unrest in the city.

"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."

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner urged the people of Philadelphia to "come together to uphold people's freedom to express themselves peacefully and to reject violence of any kind" in the wake of the shooting.

"The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office takes its obligation to try to be fair and to seek evenhanded justice seriously," Krasner said.

"The DAO Special Investigations Unit responded to today's fatal shooting of a civilian by police shortly after it occurred, and has been on scene with other DAO personnel since that time investigating, as we do jointly with the PPD Officer-Involved Shooting Investigation Unit, in shootings and fatalities by other means involving police.

"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."

Philadelphia Police have been contacted for comment.

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(File photo) Yellow police tape drapes from a vehicle on August 14, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Rioting has broken out in Philadelphia in response to the police shooting of a 27-year-old Black man who was allegedly armed with a knife. Mark Makela/Getty