Police in Philadelphia clashed with protesters late Monday night just hours after a Black man armed with a knife was shot and killed by two officers in the western part of the city, reports said.
Philadelphia Police Sgt. Eric Gripp said the shooting occurred at about 4 p.m. after officers responded to a call about a man with a weapon, Fox 29 reported. He said the officers were “immediately met with a male who was carrying a knife.”
Gripp said the man appeared to disregard orders to drop the knife. A video emerged that purported to show the moments before the shooting. The man’s mother could reportedly be seen chasing after her son and asking police not to open fire. The video showed the man, identified in reports as Walter Wallace Jr., walking towards the officers prior to the shooting. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that police said the officers drove the man to a nearby hospital after the incident.
The police department and city’s district attorney vowed to look into the shooting.
The incident sparked anger in the community. Protesters took to the streets and called the shooting another example of police officers killing a Black man. The Inquirer reported that these protesters marched to a city police station where officers lined up behind metal barricades. The report said that some protesters were seen throwing various objects and several officers were injured after being hit. At least one police vehicle was set on fire.
Samantha Melamed, a reporter for the Inquirer, posted an image of a man holding a toddler while facing a police officer. She tweeted that the man told his 3-year-old son, “This is what racism looks like. Take a look.”
Police said it was unclear how many times the person was shot but Walter Wallace Sr., the man’s father, told the paper that he believed his son was shot 10 times. He told the paper that his 27-year-old son had mental health issues and was on medication.
“Why didn’t they use a taser? His mother was trying to diffuse the situation,” he said, according to the paper.
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Last month, protests broke out in Lancaster, Pa., after a police officer fatally shot a man with a knife after his sister said she called police to get him involuntarily committed, leading to street protests and vandalism in what the mayor of the small Pennsylvania city of Lancaster called a “heartbreaking day.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report