Riots Break Out After Officers Shoot Man Wielding a Knife


At least 91 individuals were arrested Monday in Philadelphia in connection with riots that caused injuries to 30 police officers after two officers shot and killed an armed suspect earlier in the day.

“Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw broke down the number of arrests during a press conference Tuesday,” WTFX-TV reported.

The arrests were due to alleged failure to disperse, assaults on police and burglary.

“Outlaw added that more charges and arrests were pending, and the department will increase police presence across the city Tuesday night as they prepare for the potential for further unrest and demonstrations,” the station said.

The chain of events that led to chaos that ensued through Tuesday morning began with a call to police on Monday afternoon at approximately 4 p.m. regarding a man brandishing a weapon in a West Philadelphia neighborhood, according to WTFX.

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Video posted on the Instagram account 911Philly shows two officers fired at least 14 shots at a black man later identified as Walter Wallace Jr., 27, who police say was openly carrying a knife.

The Instagram post stated the 911 caller told police that the man “was assaulting a woman” and “may possibly be armed with a knife.”

In the footage, officers can be heard yelling, “Put the knife down!”

The video shows the man moving toward the officers as they backed away.

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After he was shot and dropped to the ground, a female that had been following behind him, who WTFX identified as his mother, began screaming and swinging her fists at the two police officers.

Wallace was battling “severe mental issues,” according to WTFX.

After gunfire hit Wallace in his chest and one of his shoulders, “one of the officers then put him in a police vehicle and drove him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later,” the outlet added.

John J. McNesby, the president of Philadelphia’s Lodge #5 Fraternal Order of Police, issued a statement Monday night, saying the officers “are being vilified this evening for doing their job and keeping their community safe, after being confronted by a man with a knife.”

“We support and defend these officers as they too are traumatized by being involved in a fatal shooting,” McNesby added.

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Jamie Gauthier, a Democratic city council representative for the district where Wallace lived, tweeted Monday night that she is “calling on the Philadelphia Police Department to immediately release the body camera footage of the officers involved in this incident.”

Gauthier, who advocated for “de-escalation techniques and non-lethal weapons” in her post, also stated, “Resorting to the use of a service weapon should be the absolute last resort for any officer.”

The uproar following the shooting first led to a small crowd converging on the two officers at the scene, followed by demonstrations throughout the night outside of the city’s 18th Police District.

Through Tuesday morning, businesses were also ransacked and fire and police vehicles were destroyed following the incident, WTFX reported.

SV News tweeted a photo of one police cruiser engulfed in flames:

“More than a dozen officers, many with batons in hand, formed a line as they ran down 52nd Street chasing protesters away from the main thoroughfare,” WTFX reported.

After police created that barrier, a 56-year-old female police sergeant was hit by a pickup truck that barreled through the intersection at about 12:45 a.m.

The officer was hospitalized with a broken leg and was said to be “in stable condition,” Lauren Johnson reported for WTFX from Penn Presbyterian Hospital early Tuesday morning.

Johnson also said many of the police injuries were attributed to “projectile items being thrown.”

In a separate WTFX segment, Steve Keeley reported from the police department that steel barricades were erected overnight and extra officers called in to guard the station.

“They put those steel baracades up, not that they’re going to sandbag a crowd, but they’ve got officers here, guarding the gate that were called in overnight, just to keep police headquarters safe.”

Keeley also said a second police station in the city was ambushed in the early morning hours.

Of the arrests made in connection with the incidents, WTFX reported Tuesday that 10 individuals remained in custody and “will be processed and released pending future charges for rioting and/or assaults on police.”

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Jennifer Jean Miller is an award-winning news reporter, known for her coverage of New Jersey’s nursing home deaths during the coronavirus pandemic. She holds college degrees in Education and Paralegal Studies.
Jennifer Jean Miller is an award-winning news reporter, known for her coverage of New Jersey’s nursing home deaths during the coronavirus pandemic. She holds college degrees in Education and Paralegal Studies.
College degrees in Education, Paralegal Studies