Riots and looting broke out in West Philadelphia after police shot a black man by the name of Walter Wallace, Jr. who was armed with a knife. At least 33 people were arrested. Thirty officers suffered non-life-threatening injuries, including a 56-year-old female sergeant who suffered a broken leg after being run over by a black pickup truck. Celebrity rapper Meek Mill and popular podcaster Wallo267 spoke on the shooting before the rioting started which may have inflamed the situation.
The story began on Monday when police were called to a West Philadelphia residence. Early reports suggest that Walter Wallace’s mother is the person who called the police due to her son’s erratic behavior. Wallace’s father, Walter Sr., told the press that his son has a history of mental illness that he takes medication for. Nevertheless, when police arrive on the scene they encounter an agitated and armed Walter Wallace.
Walter was first seen on the street with a knife. He was not at all stationary. In fact, Wallace was moving in a dangerous way that would suggest he could hurt anyone at any time, including himself. Police shouted commands of “drop the knife!” at Wallace multiple times to no avail. Wallace actually began to charge at the officers with the knife in his hand while their guns were drawn. As Wallace got closer, the police opened fire, striking him multiple times. He wound up dying a short time later.
Bystanders stated that there was no reason to shoot Wallace so many times. The rapper Meek Mill posted a story on his Instagram stating that the police could have used a taser or simply shot him less times. Others, like Wallo267, call this shooting a travesty and want the mayor involved. Well-known civil lawyer Benjamin Crump instantly tweeted out the video of the shooting from his personal account. Several businesses have been burned to the ground and looted in Philadelphia so far.
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