The protests Street events erupted Monday night in the western part of the American city of Philadelphia After the policeman shoot and kill a black man who, they said, was armed with a knife.
The demonstrations started after a man identified as Walter Wallace, 27, was shot dead by two policemen. According to the police, officers shot “several times” in the chest and shoulder after demanding that Wallace put down his knife. The man was taken to hospital but died from the gunshots.
Hundreds of people came out to express their discomfort in the streets. Several cars were set on fire and, according to the police, some 30 officers were injured and a dozen arrests were made.
The protests in Philadelphia add to those recorded for months throughout United States after death in May George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American who was put in the neck by a Minneapolis police officer for nearly nine minutes, resulting in death from asphyxia.
Video under investigation
The mayor of the city, Jim Kenny, and the police commissioner, Danielle Outlaw, explained that the incident is under investigation. “The officer involved in the shooting investigation unit of the Philadelphia Police Department will conduct a full investigation,” Kenney said. Outlaw claimed to have heard “the anger of the community” after Wallace’s death.
As can be seen in the video of the shooting posted on social media, recorded by a passerby, the two officers point their weapons at Wallace as he walks down the street. When he notices, Wallace walks up to them, who back off with guns still pointed at him, as they yell at him to put the knife down. After this, both shoot several times and Wallace collapses in the middle of the street.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) condemned police action and considered that state violence cannot be the answer to society’s problems. “It’s time to invest in community programs, including the kind of mental health services that allow the intervention that could have prevented the murder of Wallace, “he said. Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania.