Philadelphia police killed an African American

Philadelphia police killed an African American

Clashes between Black Lives Matter protesters and law enforcement resumed in the Pennsylvania city after two officers shot Walter Wallace Jr., 27, on Monday afternoon October 26

( photo: Getty Images) On the afternoon of Monday, October 26, Philadelphia police shot and killed Walter Wallace Jr., a 27-year-old African-American man who agents said was advancing towards them armed. of knife. The shooting took place around 4 pm local time, when the police responded to a report of a man on the street with a stabbing weapon.

A video later released on social networks shows the man in question - later identified as Wallace Jr. - trying to get closer to the police and is hit by about a dozen shots. "Brother, they just killed him in front of me", a man can be heard exclaim in the recording made with his cell phone. "You don't have to use so many shots." The father of the murdered man Walter Wallace Sr. told the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper that his son was struggling with mental health problems and was being treated. “Why didn't they use a taser? Wallace Sr. wondered. "His mother was trying to defuse the situation," telling police that Wallace Jr. was her son. The shooting, in fact, took place near the home of the Wallace family.

Sergeant Eric Gripp, a spokesman for the local police department, told the Inquirer that the agents had ordered Wallace Jr. to drop the knife but the man "was walking towards the agents". After the officers fired "several times", one of them took the man to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, where however there was nothing more to be done. Additionally, Gripp also said investigators are reviewing footage of what happened, as both officers involved wore so-called body cameras. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, after seeing the video on social media, said that "this tragic incident" raises "difficult questions that need to be answered."

The resumption of protests against police brutality

Within hours of the shooting, hundreds of people gathered at Malcolm X Park praising the Black Lives Matter movement and marched towards the police station, between 55th Street and Pine Street, chanting the slogan: "Say his name: Walter Wallace". Then, the demonstrators violently clashed with riot shield officers lined up in front of the police station. The agents made extensive use of batons: a young witness told the Inquirer that the police "began to forcefully push back the crowd and beat anyone who did not want to back down".

During the night between October 26 and 27 at least one police car was set on fire and a television news vehicle was vandalized, four officers ended up in hospital after being hit by bricks and another police officer was hit by a truck, the Inquirer reports. The protesters then moved into the 52nd Street business district, causing significant property damage between Market and Spruce Street. One group also marched into University City, the university campus.

The corridor of 52nd Street had already been the scene of unrest between May 31 and the beginning of last June, with the outbreak of protests at the national level for the killing of African American George Floyd by the Minneapolis police. Even back then, protesters clashed with Philadelphia officials, setting fire to some police vehicles as police responded with rubber bullets and tear gas in residential streets. Since then, the city police department has banned the use of tear gas for its officers.

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